Sri Lanka to receive 18 million Covishield doses starting next week: army chief
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has made a purchase order for 18 million doses of the Covishield vaccine from India’s Serum Institute, the first batch of will arrive next week, Army Commander Gen Shavendra Silva said.
The government has already made the payment for the consignment that will be used to inoculate nine million people against COVID-19. Silva told the privately owned Ada Derana network today that the first batch will comprise half a million doses for 250,000 people.
This will be in addition to the half a million doses that Sri Lanka received last month as a donation from the Indian government.
“The first batch is scheduled to come to Sri Lanka in the next seven days. Remaining batches will follow,” he said.
Silva, who heads Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 presidential task force, further said the World Health Organisation has indicated that the country may receive a vaccine through the COVAX facility to immunise to 27 to 30 percent of the population – an increase from the previously promised 20 percent.
According to Silva, this is owing to Sri Lanka’s successful vaccination drive.
Sri Lanka started vaccinating frontline workers on January 29, and as of yesterday some 189,394 in the health sector and the military have received the jab.
“The first batch under COVAX is expected to arrive within the first and second week of March,” the army chief said. (Colombo/ Feb 15/2021)