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Coronavirus: US envoy provides protective equipment for Bangladesh fire department

  • Published at 04:07 pm May 11th, 2020
US Ambassador Earl Miller with the officials of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, during the handover of protective equipment for Covid-19 response on Monday, May 11, 2020 - Courtesy - US Embassy in Dhaka
US Ambassador Earl Miller with the officials of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, during the handover of protective equipment for Covid-19 response on Monday, May 11, 2020 Courtesy: US Embassy in Dhaka

All the equipment were sourced locally

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller and representatives of the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command have handed over essential personal protective equipment for first responders in Bangladesh.

LTC Zulfiker Rahman, director of training, planning, and development, Fire Service and Civil Defense (FSCD), and Mohammed Abdul Momen,  assistant director, received the equipment on Monday, as part of US assistance to Bangladesh’s efforts to roll back Covid-19.

So far, the US government has provided over $22 million - around Tk184.80 crore - to complement the Bangladesh government’s ongoing efforts to prepare and respond to the spread of Covid-19 to improve rapid diagnosis, increase knowledge and dispel myths and misconceptions about the disease, and support heroes on the frontline, including FSCD first responders, who put their lives daily at risk to protect the people of Bangladesh.

The equipment donated by the US Embassy in Dhaka includes 1,000 KN95 surgical masks, 800 200-milliliter bottles of hand sanitizers, 500 pairs of surgical gloves, 300 hazardous materials (HAZMAT) suits, 100 protective masks, and 50 medical goggles, all of which were sourced locally from Bangladeshi companies, according to a press release issued by the embassy.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Home Affairs will distribute the equipment to FSCD first responders working to protect local communities against the spread of Covid-19.  These equipment will enable the first responders to respond quickly and safely to individuals who may be displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

FSCD first responders are critical frontline workers confronting this crisis.  They, together with health care workers, police, journalists, photojournalists, people who work in grocery stores and pharmacies and other businesses, and in non-governmental and community organizations, perform remarkable acts of service every day. 

Paying tributes to them, Ambassador Miller said: “You are all genuine heroes, you deserve our immense gratitude.”

The US Embassy in Dhaka expressed its pride on donating the essential equipment to FSCD first responders working to protect local communities against the spread of Covid-19, read the press release.

The US continues to work in close partnership with the Bangladesh government on a range of programs to identify and alleviate critical medical shortages across the country, including the distribution of PPE and other medical supplies to first responders and designated Covid-19 medical treatment facilities.  

Monday’s delivery of the US-funded and locally produced PPE is one of the many initiatives that demonstrates the US government’s continuing commitment to the Bangladeshi people in promoting mutual understanding between the two countries, and a strong partnership to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the US government has committed more than $900 million worldwide in emergency health, humanitarian, economic and development assistance specifically aimed at helping governments, international organizations and NGOs to fight the pandemic.  

This funding will save lives by improving public health education, protecting healthcare facilities, and increasing laboratory, disease-surveillance and rapid-response capacity in more than 120 countries.  

In Bangladesh, the $22 million in funding builds on more than $1 billion in health assistance provided to Bangladesh over the past 20 years and underscores the long-term US commitment to ensuring access to life-saving health services for all people in Bangladesh.

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