Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and his entire team well-deserve to be congratulated for brilliantly concluding agreement with China for buying COVID vaccine, when the country was in a shock as India’s Serum Institute had abruptly failed in continuing the supply of AstraZeneca vaccine for which Bangladesh had paid in advance. Foreign Minister Momen should also be congratulated for opening the prospect of producing another Chinese vaccine in Bangladesh, which not only will help in reducing the cost but also will help in meeting the domestic requirement and possibly earn significant amount of foreign exchange through export.
According to media reports, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said that there have been positive discussions between the two countries and a deal is almost final. The total consignment will arrive in three phases — five million in each month of June, July and August.
Abdul Momen said that at a telephonic conversation last week with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi the country vowed to ensure steady flow of vaccine.
“He (Chinese foreign minister) told me China considers Bangladesh as a friendly country and is ready to provide as many as vaccine we need,” Momen said referring to his recent telephone conversation with Wang Yi.
During the telephone conversation with Momen on Friday, Wang Yi, who is also the State Councilor of China, also announced that China has decided to provide 600,000 more Covid-19 vaccine doses to Bangladesh as a second batch of gift, reports BSS.
On May 12, China handed over first batch of 500,000 doses of its Sinopharm vaccine to Bangladesh as gift while Dhaka is keeping its efforts on globally to get access to enough inoculation.
Bangladesh is also working on co-production of Sinovac, another Chinese vaccine. A team from China will visit Bangladesh soon to see the feasibility of vaccine production, he said.
In the coming days vaccine supply will not be a problem, the foreign minister said adding that discussion with Russia for vaccine is also at the final stage. The country will also get vaccine from Covax, he added.
After its request to the United States, Bangladesh also urged the United Kingdom to help it by providing vaccines to meet emergency needs as the second dose vaccination is disrupted in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has sought 1.6 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the UK.
The government had been able to handle the first wave of the Covid-19 very successfully, UNB quoted the foreign minister saying.
This particular achievement of Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in succeeding in getting COVID vaccines from a number of countries is no easy task, especially when a large number of nations in the world are rather struggling in even starting vaccination. This specific success of our foreign minister deserves appreciation from every quarter. We also express our profound gratitude to Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her precious guidance to Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, without which, the signing of agreement with China and almost reaching into agreement with Russia was a mission impossible.
Thank you very much Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.