Senegal receives first batch of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine

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Senegalese Gendarmes watch as a shipment of medical supplies donated to Africa to help fight with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and the Alibaba Foundation arrives on a plane from Ethiopia at Blaise Diagne international airport in Thies, Senegal March 28, 2020.REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Senegalese Gendarmes watch as a shipment of medical supplies donated to Africa to help fight with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and the Alibaba Foundation arrives on a plane from Ethiopia at Blaise Diagne international airport in Thies, Senegal March 28, 2020.REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Senegal on Wednesday night received the first batch of China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.

Senegalese President Macky Sall, First Lady Marieme Faye Sall, senior government officials, Chinese Ambassador to Senegal Xiao Han and representatives of the World Health Organization also attended the delivery ceremony at Blaise Diagne International Airport.

The first batch of 200,000 doses of vaccine were conveyed by a special flight of the national company Air Senegal from Beijing.

Speaking at the ceremony, President Sall first expressed his “sincere thanks” to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the acquisition of these doses of vaccine.

He also thanked Ambassador Xiao for the follow-up of “this complex operation”.

Apart from these 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine, Sall said that his country has started the process of acquiring other vaccines, and will receive 6.798 million doses in the coming weeks for mass vaccination.

The country plans to vaccinate 20 percent of its population, which is about 3.5 million people, in the first phase of mass vaccination.

Senegal has so far reported 31,771 COVID-19 cases with 26,095 recoveries and 769 deaths.

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