Vaccine donation shows China's firm support for Brunei's fight against COVID-19: Chinese envoy

Updated: September 14, 2021 Source:
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Two batches of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines donated by China to Brunei this year were testament to the deep friendship from the Chinese government and its people, as well as China's firm support for Brunei's fight against the pandemic, Yu Hong, Chinese ambassador to Brunei told Xinhua during an interview on Monday.

A total of 100,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine and 102,400 syringes donated by China arrived in Brunei on Sunday night.

"This is the second time China donated vaccines to Brunei after the first batch of 52,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in February this year," said Yu.

"We are delighted to be able to join the Brunei government in its efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic and to safeguard the well-being of its people," she added.

Facing a new wave of pandemic starting early August with thousands of local cases detected in less than a month, Brunei has encountered an explosive growth in demand for vaccines and a shortage of stockpiles.

The Brunei government announced earlier the temporary suspension of first dose vaccination starting from Sept. 1 until a date to be announced later due to insufficient supply.

"Since last year, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Brunei have worked hand in hand, speaking volumes about the Kampong spirit of sharing weal and woe," Yu said.

"The pragmatic cooperation in various fields between our two countries and the friendship between our two peoples have been deepened and advanced in the course of anti-pandemic cooperation," she added.

Besides the Chinese government's efforts, the ambassador said that Chinese companies in Brunei also contributed to local pandemic control and management significantly.

After the new wave of COVID-19 outbreak erupted in August, China's leading biotech company BGI Group responded swiftly to the request of the Brunei government, coordinating the arrival of experts and the delivery of equipments in less than a week, and putting the first mobile inflatable Fire Eye laboratory in Southeast Asia into operation, which substantially improved Brunei's COVID-19 testing capacity, said Yu.

Hengyi Industries, a petrochemical joint venture between Brunei and China, donated much-needed supplies and equipment to the Fire Eye laboratory to support its smooth and safe operation.

A Chinese high-tech company continued to upgrade the BruHealth App, playing an important role in contact tracing and quarantine management, according to the ambassador.

To facilitate the smooth and timely delivery of the anti-pandemic supplies, the Muara Port Company, another Brunei-China joint venture, has waived port and terminal fees for all the medical supplies and equipment.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Brunei, Yu noted.

"Over the past 30 years, our bilateral relations have made enormous progress. As a good friend, a good neighbor and a good partner, the Chinese side sincerely supports all the efforts taken by the Brunei government to bring the pandemic under control, achieve economic recovery and restore people's livelihood as soon as possible," the ambassador said. 

Editor: 杨倩