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EU offers free Covid vaccines to China to curb outbreak: Report

New Delhi: The European Union has offered free COVID-19 vaccines to China to help Beijing contain a mass outbreak of the illness, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

According to the newspaper, the offer was made in recent days ahead of a meeting of EU health ministers on Tuesday as part of the European Commission’s response to a possible new wave of COVID-19 cases worldwide after China decided to end its “zero-tolerance policy” toward the virus.

“[EU Health] Commissioner [Stella] Kyriakides has reached out to her Chinese counterparts to offer solidarity and support, including public health expertise as well as through variant-adapted EU vaccine donations,” an EU official was quoted as saying.

The Chinese government is yet to respond to the offer made by the EU, the official added.

In November, China saw a record increase in local COVID-19 outbreaks. Due to the deterioration of the epidemiological situation, the authorities introduced partial lockdowns in some areas while also forcing their residents to undergo PCR testing on a daily basis.

In late December, the World Health Organization said that current vaccination coverage in China was insufficient and more active measures were necessary to curb the spread of the virus.

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