The UAE’s state-run news agency WAM reported that the UAE's Red Crescent had coordinated with its Syrian counterpart to deliver the COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable people in the war-torn country, including front-line medical workers, those with chronic diseases and displaced people.
The statement did not specify which vaccines were delivered, but the UAE largely has relied on the Chinese state-backed Sinopharm vaccine for its speedy inoculation campaign. The country previously has sent Sinopharm shipments to Egypt, a key Arab ally, and the Indian Ocean island nation of the Seychelles
In neighboring Lebanon, the vaccination process against coronavirus intensified Thursday as the inoculation of members of the Lebanese army began in 21 military centers around the country. The army said the first to get the vaccine was army commander Gen. Joseph Aoun, with thousands of soldiers to be vaccinated in the coming weeks.
Lebanon received a gift of 90,000 Sinopharm shots from China last week, some of which will be used for the military. This tiny country of 6 million people, including 1 million Syrian refugees, has registered 485,000 cases of the virus, including 6,500 deaths so far.
Lebanese authorities have proposed to extend the nighttime curfew around the country by two hours to make it start at 7 p.m. during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that begins next week.
During Ramadan, observant Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset. People usually break their fast with a meal among family members and friends at home or in restaurants. The expected move by the government aims to limit gatherings the could help spread the virus.
Lebanon launched vaccination campaigns against coronavirus in February. So far, about 270,000 people have been vaccinated, including 92,000 who received both shots of the vaccine.
In this photo released by the Lebanese Army official website, a Lebanese Army soldier, receives a Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, at one of the military vaccination centers, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, April 8, 2021. The Lebanese army said thousands of soldiers will be vaccinated in the coming weeks. Lebanon received a gift of 90,000 Sinopharm shots from China last week of which some of them will be used to inoculate members of the military. (Lebanese Army Website via AP)