China, Thailand support each other in fighting COVID-19: Thai deputy PM
"With the good cooperation that we have had with each other, we will continue to help each other to the best we can, and this will continue endlessly," said the Thai deputy PM.
Thai Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said China and Thailand have had good cooperation on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and the two countries will continue to support each other in this regard.
Expressing his gratitude for China's assistance in fighting the pandemic, Anutin said "the Chinese government has always supported our country to the most extent, and we have received lots of contributions."
"I could say loudly that Thai people always feel the wonderful brotherhood between the Chinese and the Thais," Anutin said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
"With the good cooperation that we have had with each other, we will continue to help each other to the best we can, and this will continue endlessly," said Anutin, who is also the country's public health minister.
China's Sinovac vaccine is the first COVID-19 vaccine that entered Thailand, and has helped the Southeast Asian country kick-start its national inoculation program, with Anutin taking the first shot.
The Chinese vaccines are the major vaccines that Thailand is using to inoculate its people, said Anutin, expecting that by the year end, the vast majority of the people could be vaccinated.
As Thailand is grappling with the worst wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, with its medical system being overwhelmed, the country needs speedy vaccine rollout to control the situation.
As of Saturday, China has provided to Thailand 19 batches of vaccines, according to data from the Chinese Embassy to Thailand.
Despite the current COVID-19 situation, Anutin said "the plan to open up our country is still there," hoping that the situation could get better in the next few months and Thailand could welcome tourists from China as ever before.
To reboot the tourism-reliant economy and revive the tourism sector, Thailand aims to open up to fully-vaccinated foreign tourists later this year.
On Saturday, the country reported 18,912 new cases, the highest single-day tally since the pandemic began, raising the total number of infections to nearly 600,000. Cumulative fatalities have risen to 4,857, up by 178 over the last 24 hours, also a record high.