China, Pakistan
File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Jan 21 (APP): China will provide 0.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the government of Pakistan by January 31, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Thursday.

“As goodwill gesture, China has pledged to handover the batch of vaccine free of cost,” the Foreign Minister told media here, following his telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi this afternoon.

Qureshi said the Chinese Foreign Minister informed him that Pakistan could send the cargo plane to airlift the batch of vaccine.

Terming it a “welcoming development” amid coronavirus situation, he said, “This is a very good news that we have received from our friend China,” he said.

Qureshi said as Pakistan would be needing another 1.1 million doses for its frontline population, for which Chinese FM Wang Yi today agreed to handover the required vaccine by the end of February.

ALSO READ  Long, continuous struggle needed to purge country of corrupt mafia: President

“In view of the strong strategic relations, China has considered Pakistan as the first country to be supplied with the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan had successfully fought the challenges of coronavirus and lauded the performance of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in this regard.

He mentioned that the trials of COVID-19 vaccines were effectively being carried out in the country, with an objective to launch production at later stages.