BEIJING, Feb. 23 -- A Mongolian chartered plane carrying Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government and the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) landed at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Mongolia's capital city of Ulan Bator on February 22. The two sides hosted a handover ceremony at the airport.
Mongolian Deputy Prime Minister Sainbuyan Amarsaikhan, also head of State Emergency Commission, welcomed the Chinese vaccines at the airport. Chinese Ambassador to Mongolia Chai Wenrui, Minister-Counsellor Zhang Muxing, Mongolia’s Minister of Health, Mongolia’s Defense Minister, and government officials from the two countries attended the ceremony.
In his speech, Deputy Prime Minister Amarsaikhan thanked the Chinese government and people for their assistance to Mongolia for the COVID-19 vaccines. He said that the Mongolian people often say that "neighbors are close to each other and share a common destiny". Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mongolia and China have shared information and supported each other. They have become a model of cooperation between neighboring countries in fighting the pandemic. Amarsaikhan believes that the vaccines provided by China this time will help Mongolia's anti-pandemic work achieve new results and enter a new stage soon.
Ambassador Chai Wenrui said that China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors connected by mountains and rivers. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries have helped each other and joined hands in fighting the pandemic, and have built a China-Mongolia health community. China's assistance to Mongolia with the COVID-19 vaccines fully demonstrates the profound friendship between the two peoples. Chai believes that these vaccines can help Mongolia better respond to the pandemic.
A citizen of Ulan Bator said that, like other ordinary people in Mongolia, he highly trusts the safety, effectiveness, accessibility and affordability of Chinese vaccines and hopes that he can get the Chinese vaccine as soon as possible.
Mongolia is still a high-risk country of the pandemic, and the situation in the capital Ulan Bator is not optimistic. As of 11:00 on February 22, a cumulative total of 2,693 confirmed cases had been reported in the country. 1,933 infected had been cured, and six people had died. Among them, the total number of cases in Ulan Bator has reached 1,852, accounting for 68.77 percent of all confirmed cases in the country.
The Mongolian government has recently decided to launch a vaccination plan from February 23 to quickly and effectively curb the spread of the pandemic. Mongolia will continue to seek the COVID-19 vaccines from the international community actively. In the first stage, Mongolia will give priority to front-line high-risk groups such as medical workers and police personnel and will continue to expand the scope of vaccination later.