Niger Republic receives Sinopharm vaccine from China

Niger’s health ministry said Sunday that China has sent it 400,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to help stem the spread of Covid-19 in the African country.

A cargo plane carrying the jabs, as well as 300,000 antigen tests, masks and protective equipment arrived at Niamey airport, the ministry said. 

It would start rolling out its vaccination campaign “from March 27”, the ministry said, adding that the political authorities, healthcare personnel, the army and security forces and people aged over 60 would be given priority. 

Niger has reported 4,918 cases and 185 deaths from coronavirus so far, according to official figures published on Saturday.

The country took drastic measures when the first few cases emerged in March 2020, shutting its borders, declaring a state of emergency, introducing curfews, and closing churches and schools. 

Some of the measures have been gradually lifted, but the land borders remain shut. 

In addition to the coronavirus pandemic, Niger is struggling with two jihadist campaigns — in the west near Mali and Burkina Faso, and a decade-old insurgency in the southeast on the border with Nigeria. 

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