Bangladesh approves purchase of Covid vaccines from China

Dhaka, May 20 : The Bangladeshi government has approved the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines from China.

Bangladesh's Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, the highest body to deal with economic issues, in a meeting has approved the purchase.

Shahida Akhtar, a senior Cabinet Division official, told journalists after the meeting on Wednesday that Bangladesh will buy vaccines from China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), Xinhua news agency reported.

The approval came a week after Bangladesh received a batch of Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine donated by China.

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming formally handed over the vaccines to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque at a ceremony at the State Guest House Padma in Dhaka on last Wednesday.

The Bangladeshi government has already announced that it will start administering from next week Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine donated by China.

The health minister made the announcement at press conference Monday, saying "health professionals on the frontline of the fight against the pandemic will receive the doses beginning May 25 or 26".

Bangladesh suspended administering the first dose of the vaccine on April 26 after India halted export to tackle its own crisis.

Subsequently the country's drug regulator authorized emergency use of the Sinopharm vaccines.

Bangladesh kicked off the Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 28 to rein in the pandemic that has so far spread across the country.

A total of 5.82 million people in Bangladesh have so far received the first dose of the vaccine.

On Wednesday, the country's Directorate General of Health Services reported 1,608 new cases of Covid-19 and 37 new deaths, bringing the number of total cases to 783,737 and the total death toll to 12,248.



Source: IANS