• Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Doraiswami: Bangladesh will get remaining Covid vaccine as priority partner

  • Published at 09:12 pm August 17th, 2021
Vikram Doraiswami
Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami is seen speaking at an event in Dhaka in this February 2021 photo Focus Bangla

India will continue to prioritize our most cherished partnerships with their closest neighbours, especially with Bangladesh, said the Indian high commissioner

Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami on Tuesday said his country would resume its vaccine supply abroad as soon as possible since India’s internal crisis is over and Bangladesh to get the committed jabs as New Delhi’s “priority partner.”

“At the earliest we can resume [vaccine supply] … Bangladesh is a priority partner and Bangladesh is already committed to purchase [the vaccine],” he said.

The Indian envoy said New Delhi never said that it would not supply the vaccine to Bangladesh: “We only said till the crisis is over in India.”  

Bangladesh had purchased 30 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from Serum Institute of India (SII) through Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) but New Delhi suspended its jab export after delivering 7 million of doses to Dhaka when Covid situation deteriorated there.

The Indian high commissioner made the remarks while formally handing over 31 "Life Support" ambulances and nearly 20 tons of essential medical supplies as gifts to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen in a ceremony at State Guest House Padma in the capital.

The ambulances marked the first tranche in an overall program of supplying 109 Life Support Ambulances, as announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his state visit here in March this year.

“India remains committed to doing all it can as a close partner (of Bangladesh), and a civilizational friend, within the limits of our capacity and in a manner that is sustainable,” he said. 

Also Read - India gifts 31 ambulances, medical equipment to Bangladesh

Doraiswami said India has consistently prioritized regional and international cooperation including through policy measures, capacity building, and cross-border flows of medical supplies, as part of humanity’s fight against this Coronavirus.

“We will continue to prioritize our most cherished partnerships with our closest neighbours, especially with Bangladesh,” Doraiswami said.

Recalling Bangladesh’s assistance to India during the second coronavirus wave, the envoy said: “Today, as we have regained the capacity to act, we are responding to support our partners here”.

This includes, he said, supplying large amounts of liquid oxygen by railway to maximize carrying capacity, and so, in the past few weeks alone, seven trains have crossed the border with nearly 200 metric tonnes of oxygen per train.

“Our location gives us a unique capacity to supply oxygen in bulk through multiple modes of transport even at short notice … we are committed to doing more; and we will do all we can within the limits of our capacity,” said Doraiswami.  

The high commissioner said the remaining 109 ambulances will be reaching here within the next several weeks.

Besides, he said India will supply two separate Oxygen Plants with production capacity of 960 litres per minute to help step up oxygen production at frontline hospitals in Bangladesh.

Apart from the purchased vaccine, India had also gifted 3.2 million doses of vaccines to Bangladesh on two separate occasions.     

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