KIEV, March 25 (Xinhua) -- A plane with the first batch of CoronaVac vaccine produced by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech arrived in Ukraine on Thursday night amid the rapid surge of COVID-19 infections in the country.
At Kiev Boryspil airport, the cargo was met by Chinese Ambassador to Ukraine Fan Xianrong, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Yevhen Yenin and Deputy Health Minister Viktor Lyashko.
"Despite the fact that there is a huge shortage of vaccine on the world market, China is actively supporting Ukraine on its vaccination path, which is evidence of the strategic nature of the Sino-Ukrainian relations and deep traditional friendship between the two countries," the ambassador said.
He also expressed the hope that the Chinese vaccine will help the Ukrainian people to defeat the pandemic, and assured that China is ready to provide support to Ukraine in its economic recovery.
Yenin, in turn, thanked the Chinese government for the timely provision of the vaccine and assistance in countering the pandemic.
He noted that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is making efforts to continue mass vaccination in the country and Chinese vaccine will help Ukraine to achieve this goal.
Lyashko also expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for the support provided to Ukraine in the fight against the virus and expressed hope for continuous cooperation with China in this direction for an early victory over the pandemic.
Ukraine officially registered the CoronaVac vaccine for use against COVID-19 on March 9.
Ukraine's Lekhim Group company, which has a contract with Sinovac Biotech on the distribution and localization of production in Ukraine, is to deliver the following batches of the COVID-19 vaccine to Ukraine under a contract with the Ministry of Health for the supply of 1.9 million doses of vaccine.
COVID-19 numbers have been growing in Ukraine over the past month.
Ukraine recorded 16,669 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, which has set a new daily record since the onset of the pandemic in March last year, Ukraine's Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said on his official Facebook page Thursday.
So far, 1,596,575 COVID-19 cases and 31,135 deaths have been registered in Ukraine, while 1,283,020 patients have recovered, according to the health authorities. Enditem