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17 May 2021

Humanitarian cargo with Chinese vaccine to arrive in Belarus on 18 May

An Ilyushin Il-76MD airlifter has taken off from the Machulishchi airfield and is en route to Beijing to bring humanitarian aid from China - the Chinese vaccine against coronavirus, BelTA learned from the Defense Ministry.

“This is not the first time a military crew is used to deliver humanitarian aid. In February last year, Belarus became the first country to send humanitarian aid to the People's Republic of China on the instructions of President Aleksandr Lukashenko. China also helped Belarus fight the coronavirus infection,” the Defense Ministry said.

The airlifter will cover 13,600 km in total. During the 20-hour flight, the crew will cross five time zones in each direction.

“The Belarusian pilots are expected to bring 14 tonnes of humanitarian aid tomorrow,” the ministry added.

Commenting on the humanitarian aid, the press service of the Healthcare Ministry said that China donated 300,000 doses of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell) for 150,000 people. The vaccine was developed by the China National Biotec Group, a division of China's pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm. The vaccines will be delivered to the warehouse of the Belpharmatsia pharmacy chain to be further distributed among the regions.

The Healthcare Ministry also pointed to close cooperation between doctors of the two countries. “Our doctors and scientists constantly exchange information on measures taken to counter the spread of the infection, hold video-conferences, discuss methods of treatment and prevention of COVID-19,” the press service said.

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