The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed to increase the percentage of vaccines and most likely would provide at least 27% to us, Army Commander Gen. Shavendra Silva said today.
The WHO earlier assured Sri Lanka that it would provide vaccines for 20% of the local population free of charge.
In addition to it, China and Russia also agreed to donate vaccines to the local population.
Sri Lanka has also placed a purchase order of 18 million doses from India.
Moreover, Gen. Silva said the Indian Army and Russian military have agreed to provide a number of vaccines to their Sri Lankan counterparts.
Commenting on the vaccination drive, the Army chief said they will not depend on vaccines alone, but precautionary measures would be taken to control the virus.
He said the vaccination drive is being carried out specially in the areas and Grama Niladhari Divisions where the highest cases of infections are being reported.
Also, certain percentage of vaccines are also being given to those who engage in duties close to public such those engage in garbage collection, employees working in supermarkets, courts and port workers in addition to frontline workers.
He also said more than 23,000 such persons have been vaccinated on Thursday.
The Indian government had donated 500,000 Oxford–AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine to Sri Lanka last month and about 250,000 of those vaccines have been administered so far.
Meanwhile, he said more than 96,000 Sri Lankan citizens stranded overseas have been brought back to the country since the COVID-19 virus spread globally.
He said more than 92,000 Sri Lankans were brought by air, while approximately 4,000 Sri Lankans were also brought by sea.
Gen. Silva said 9,475 Sri Lankans are being quarantined at present at several quarantine centres.
He also said the government is repatriating at least 1,000 stranded Lankans daily to the country and more than 1,500 were to arrive from Kuwait, Italy, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia yesterday. (Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya)