Philippines receives more Sinovac vaccines purchased from China


A staff member transports a cargo containing the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines in Manila, the Philippines on April 11, 2021. The Philippines on Sunday received the second batch of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac vaccines purchased from China.- Xinhua

MANILA, April 12 (Xinhua): The Philippines on Sunday night (April 11) received the second batch of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac vaccines purchased from China.

The Philippine Airlines, which flew the vaccines to Manila, handed over the shipment to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, the official in charge of the Philippines' vaccine procurement efforts.

The Philippines is ramping up its vaccination efforts as it continues combating a surge of Covid-19 infections fuelled by the more infectious coronavirus variants. The government aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year to achieve herd immunity, starting with health care workers and the elderly.

With the arrival on Feb. 28 of the first batch of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines donated by China, the Philippines kicked off its vaccination campaign on March 1.

The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported on Sunday 11,681 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, bringing its total tally to 864,868.

The Covid-19 related death toll rose to 14,945 including 201 more deaths newly recorded in the South-East Asian country.

The Philippines also eased the lockdown restrictions in Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces starting Monday despite the surge of Covid-19 infections.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte approved to relax restrictions in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal until April 30.

The new set of lockdown rules was announced to the public on Monday. - Xinhua
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