China on Wednesday said it will offer 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the international consortium of vaccines led by World Health Organization (WHO).
“At the request of the WHO, China has decided to offer 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to WHO’s COVAX, to meet the urgent need of developing countries,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news conference in Beijing.
Last month, China’s Sinovac, Sinopharm, and CanSinoBio vaccine manufacturers had submitted applications to join the global COVAX initiative that aims to provide COVID-19 vaccines to poor and middle-income countries.
The announcement came amid a visit to China by 13 international experts, picked by the WHO, to probe origins of the coronavirus which was first reported in Wuhan city in the country’s Hubei province in December 2019.
The team visited the P4 lab inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) today. In the earlier days of the pandemic, the lab was accused by the Western media of being the source of the infection.
Peter Daszak, who is leading the team, said on Twitter: “Extremely important meeting today with staff at WIV including Dr Shi Zhengli. Frank, open discussion. Key questions asked & answered.”
The lab was founded in 1956 which is home to China’s first high-level biosafety laboratory for studying class-four pathogens.
Commenting on the team visit, the Foreign Ministry spokesman urged the WHO to make “similar visits to investigate the origins of coronavirus in other regions based on facts and responsibilities,” Chinese daily Global Times reported.
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