‘Try to understand the global vaccine situation,’ says Sheikh Hasina
Taking a swipe at those criticizing the government for its Covid-19 vaccine management, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged them to have patience and see what the government can do to ensure vaccines for all.
“I would like to tell those who criticize [the government] to have patience and see what we can do. Why do you criticize?” she said, adding that the government will ensure vaccines for all.
The prime minister said this while addressing a virtual discussion, arranged marking the 72nd foundation anniversary of the Bangladesh Awami League.
She joined the event from Ganabhaban, while other Awami League leaders joined it from the party’s Bangabandhu Avenue central office.
“We are taking effective measures so that everybody gets vaccines. We will do that,” Hasina said.
She said they started contacting every country where vaccine development was at the research level. “Many countries in the world could not go for vaccination yet, but Bangladesh started the inoculation drive after collecting vaccines.”
She said India banned vaccine export following the massive transmission of coronavirus there. Though Bangladesh fell in trouble to some extent due to the export ban, it later started procuring vaccines from other sources, she said.
“I am stunned when I see people who were given two doses of the vaccine on a priority basis criticizing us,” said the prime minister.
She asked the critics to try to understand the global situation over the vaccine issue. “Bangladesh earlier procured the vaccine at $4… Now it is $15. The price will go up further in the days to come.”
Hasina said the government has worked out plans so that vaccines can be produced locally by setting up a vaccine institute here to conduct research in this regard. “We will take the measures necessary to develop vaccines in the future by setting up this institute.”
Lockdown, health protocols
Noting that the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has badly transmitted throughout the country and many places across the world, she urged the people of the country to follow the lockdown and health protocols even after getting vaccinated.
“You all will have to follow the lockdown restrictions that we have imposed. All will have to stay home. If we stay home, wear face-masks, wash hands regularly and remain alert, we can overcome this situation,” she said.
In the beginning of the discussion, Hasina, the longest serving president of the Awami League, as she has been at the helm of the party since 1981, unveiled the cover of a memorial book titled “Sheikh Hasinar Netritter Char Dashak: Sangrami Neta Theke Kaljoyee Rastronayok” (Four Decades of Sheikh Hasina’s Leadership: From a Struggling Leader to a Time-tested Statesman).
The book was published by the Awami League’s information and research sub-committee and edited by party Information and Research Secretary Dr Salim Mahmud.
Party General Secretary Obaidul Quader delivered the welcome speech at the discussion arranged by the Awami League.
Awami League central leaders Begum Matia Chowdhury, Dr Abdur Razzaque, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Dr Hasan Mahmud, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya Bir Bikram and Meher Afroz Chumki, and its Dhaka city south unit President Abu Ahamad Mannafi and Dhaka city north unit President Sheikh Bazlur Rahman, among others, spoke at the discussion conducted by Publicity and Publication Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap.
The Bangladesh Awami League was formed on this day in 1949 at “Rose Garden” on KM Das Lane in Dhaka, which later transformed into the biggest political party of the country to lead the struggles for freedom, the War of Liberation and all other democratic movements.