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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Qatar to provide one million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan


Qatar has helped deliver Covid-19 vaccines to multiple countries throughout the pandemic.

Qatar will be providing one million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Pakistan, the official website of Islamabad’s National Assembly said on Tuesday.

The move was announced during a meeting between Qatar’s Ambassador Sheikh Saud bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal Al Thani and Pakistan’s National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser.

“Ambassador of Qatar Sheikh Saud bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal Al Thani said that Qatar highly values its close ties with Pakistan. He said that Qatar will continue cooperation with Pakistan in diverse fields to strengthen its economy & offered 1 Million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Pakistan,” tweeted the diplomatic office.

The two diplomats also reviewed Qatar and Pakistan’s bilateral ties and means to further strengthen them.

“Qatar and Pakistan enjoy cordial relations that are based on commonality of [religions], history and cultural values,” read the statement, quoting Qaiser.

The rate of coronavirus cases in Pakistan witnessed a dramatic drop on Tuesday after the country reported a positivity rate of 1.69%, its lowest since October 20th last year.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre, 39,017 tests were conducted on Tuesday, out of which 663 tested positive.

In an interview with Axios earlier this week, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his country was able to outperform the US in handling the pandemic because of its “smart lockdown” measures.

Read also: Qatar-Pakistan LNG deal signals possible shift in regional politics

Khan said the strategy implemented by Pakistan imposed lockdowns at hot spots across the country.

“We had this control and command centre where we accumulate daily all the data coming from Pakistan so we got the Pakistan army involved, all the provinces involved. We had our doctors, sitting there, infectious disease specialist, and they were monitoring the whole thing,” he told Axios.

The total number of coronavirus fatalities in Pakistan has reached 22,034 while the total number of active cases now stands at 33,452.

Qatar global vaccine efforts

Qatar has been extending a helping hand to countries across the world since the outbreak began  by providing medical aid and vaccines.

In a recent initiative, Qatar provided Paraguay with the first batch of the 99,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine, with the aim to donate a total of 400,000 vaccines to the South American country.

In April, Qatar announced a major $100 million initiative to vaccinate more than three million refugees and displaced people in 20 countries around the world.

Up to 3,650,000 of vulnerable populations, including internally displaced people and migrant communities are set be vaccinated as part of the campaign.

Qatar-Pakistan ties

Both countries share strong bilateral ties in several areas, from trade to military.

Earlier this year, Qatar Petroleum and Pakistan signed a major 10-year LNG deal, the “lowest publicly disclosed liquified gas contract in the world”, in a ceremony attended by Pakistan’s prime minister.

The deal—signed between Qatar Petroleum and Pakistan State Oil Company Limited [PSO] – will begin from January 2022 with an average of two ships delivering the gas per month and will later be increased to four in the upcoming three years.

Qatar and Pakistan also share a decade-long defence cooperation deal that was signed in 1983, enabling joint training and exercises between the two countries, with many Pakistani nationals serving in the Gulf state’s Armed Forces.

Both countries have also cooperated in the historic intra-Afghan talks that aim to end decades of war between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

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