SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 8 February 2023, Wednesday |

Bangladesh soon to ink vaccine co-production deal with China

Bangladesh is expected to sign a deal with China for vaccine co-production, in the wake of an alarming spike in coronavirus cases due to the more transmissible Delta Variant, the South Asian country’s top diplomat told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

“We plan to sign the agreement (with China) very soon and co-production will take a few weeks,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen confirmed in a written message.

Earlier on Tuesday, the deputy chief of mission at the Chinese Embassy, Haulong Yan, said that joint production of coronavirus vaccines in Bangladesh would start “soon.”

“We’ll soon be coming for vaccine co-producing,” Yan said, without giving any specific date.

Bangladesh’s Health Ministry confirmed separately that 1.77 million doses of Chinese Sinopharm vaccines had arrived in Dhaka.

In a social media post, Yan added that 1.77 million more doses of Sinopharm vaccines under the UN’s COVAX initiative had departed from the Chinese capital at 7.20 a.m. local time in Beijing (2320GMT).

Bangladesh’s Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday told journalists that Dhaka would purchase a total of 60 million doses of Sinopharm jabs to bolster the ongoing nationwide vaccination drive.

He said that for the government to reach its goal to inoculate over 138 million people, it needs around 276 million vaccine doses.

The overcrowded South Asian country of 165 million people has so far fully vaccinated only 5 million people, though 15 million people have taken the first dose of the two-step vaccines.

Bangladesh has registered a total of 23,398 coronavirus-related fatalities, including 237 in the last 24 hours. The country’s caseload stood at nearly 1.4 million, with more than 1.2 million recoveries.