India is looking to buy the anti-viral medicine from several countries, including Bangladesh
Bangladesh is set to send remdesivir, currently being used to treat Covid-19, along with other medical supplies to India next week, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has said.
“India sought remdesivir [from us]. We have taken measures to send it,” he said on Thursday.
In India, the demand has risen as the number of Covid-19 patients and deaths is spiralling. The government on April 17 slashed the price by $27 to make it available and affordable.
The Indian government has plans to procure remdesivir vials from countries like Egypt, Uzbekistan and the UAE as well.
Official sources said that the Indian missions in these countries were working to facilitate the purchase of the drug due to its high demands in India as the pandemic runs riot, The Times of India reported on Wednesday.
Faced with an acute shortage of the anti-viral drug, India earlier this month waived import duty for the remdesivir vials and the raw materials.
About the risks of the Indian triple mutant Covid-19 variant entering Bangladesh, the foreign secretary said: “The situation in the country will be manageable if the infection rate goes down.”
Bangladesh on April 25 closed its border with India for the 14 days to control the spread of the deadly virus. But people still entered the country from India despite the closure.
Collection of Covid-19 vaccines
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said the government was discussing with Russia, China and the US regarding the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.
“The government-level talks are going on for the joint production of the vaccines, which will still be limited to assisting the private sector,” he said.
He went on to say that the government would not produce the vaccines. “Instead, we have recommended the names of four local pharmaceutical companies to Russia. Now, the Russian authorities will choose who to assign the task.”
The government, he said, was trying to get vaccines from the US as well. “They have 60 million additional doses and we have sought a share from those,” he said.
“Meanwhile, China has pledged us 500,000 vaccines and we’ll buy some more. It won’t be a problem if the vaccines arrive by Eid-ul-Fitr. We are trying to get them at the earliest,” the foreign secretary said.