(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The Sri Lankan health authorities on Monday began inoculating Chinese nationals living in the country against the Covid-19 using a Chinese vaccine.

“This was done at four different places today in Colombo, Kandy, Hambantota and Puttalam,” said Chief Epidemiologist to the government Sudath Samaraweera.

He said 600,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm were received and they would be used to inoculate the Chinese workers currently in the island nation.

The officials of Colombo Municipal Council said around 3,000 Chinese nationals had registered for the vaccine, most of them workers in the construction sector.

China has invested heavily in Sri Lanka under its Belt and Road Initiative, namely the Port City of Colombo and the Port of Hambantota projects.

Meanwhile, opposition party leaders on Monday charged that four members of National medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), including its chairman, had been removed as they did not approve the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, citing the World Health Organisation’s pending approval for emergency use.