Vaccination will begin on Friday at six hospitals.

Sri Lanka on Thursday obtained 5,00,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine gifted by India, the nation’s first consignment because the island nation prepares to start its roll-out.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who obtained the vaccines from the Indian Excessive Commissioner on the Bandaranaike Worldwide Airport on Thursday morning, tweeted: “Acquired 500,000 #COVID19 vaccines supplied by #peopleofindia at #BIA right now(28). Thanks! PM Shri @narendramodi & #peopleofindia for the generosity proven in the direction of #PeopleofSriLanka at the moment in want.”

Vaccination will begin on Friday at six principal hospitals in Sri Lanka’s Western Province, an announcement from President Rajapaksa’s workplace mentioned. “Round 1,50,000 well being staff, 1,20,000 members of the tri-forces, police and safety forces who’re on the frontline of COVID prevention operations can be given first precedence,” the assertion mentioned.

Sri Lanka’s public well being sector, together with the army, has been main the nation’s response to the pandemic, because it struck the island in March 2020. Sri Lanka, which managed the primary wave successfully, is at the moment witnessing a surge within the coronavirus circumstances, with the variety of constructive sufferers and deaths going up from 3,300 and 13, respectively, in early October to 60,694 infections and 290 deaths as of Thursday. Along with reporting the current U.Okay.-variant of the virus, scientists in Sri Lanka earlier this week recognized one other new pressure, reported in nations akin to Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, and Germany.

India donated the vaccines to Sri Lanka following a request President Rajapaksa made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Exterior Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who was in Colombo earlier this month, had assured Sri Lanka that India would give it “high precedence” whereas dispatching vaccines within the area.

Over the previous few weeks, the Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar within the neighbourhood obtained vaccines from India, along with Mauritius, Seychelles, and Brazil and Morocco, that obtained them on a business association.

The Indian Excessive Fee in Colombo, on the eve of the arrival of the vaccines mentioned, the consignment of COVISHIELD vaccine was arriving on the “auspicious Duruthu Poya Day” [full moon], in what it referred to as “a outstanding coincidence”.

“As such the Excessive Commissioner, who had first arrived in Sri Lanka to take up his project within the Vesak Week in Might 2019 with 12.5 tons of medical …will pray on the sacred Gangaramaya Temple [famous Buddhist shrine in Colombo] for the well being and wellbeing of the folks of Sri Lanka on the day,” a press launch mentioned. “He may also search the blessings of Ven. Dr. Kirinde Assaji Thero [senior Buddhist monk at the temple]. As per the Buddhist traditions in India and Sri Lanka, Excessive Commissioner will provide meals to devotees on the Temple,” the assertion mentioned.

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