A day after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Bangladesh, the Health Ministry on Thursday rolled out the inoculation drive at five government hospitals in Dhaka.
At Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Vice Chancellor Dr Kanak Kanti Barua kicked off the programme in the morning by getting a shot of Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca-developed vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), university PRO Prashanto Kumar Majumdar told UNB.
Later in the day, Minister of State for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Health Services Division Secretary Abdul Mannan received their doses of the vaccine at the hospital. Some 100 people have received shots of Covishield at BSMMU since morning, Prashanto Kumar said.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque, who visited BSMMU, said, “The side-effects of the vaccine are very rare and those who received the shots on Wednesday are doing better. Vaccination programme is going on in some hospitals on Thursday and our ministers, MPs and secretaries are getting their shots.”
The Minister also urged people not to pay attention to rumours related to the vaccines and get inoculated in order to stop the spread of Covid-19.
PM vaccination campaign
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the Covid-19 vaccination programme at a city hospital in a bid to end the pandemic in Bangladesh. She had launched the vaccination drive at Kurmitola General Hospital from her official residence Ganobhaban through video-conferencing.
At the inaugural event, five people were vaccinated in the virtual presence of the Prime Minister. Runu Veronica Costa, a senior staff nurse at Kurmitola General Hospital, was the first to get the shot in the country.
Four others who received the Covid-19 vaccine doses at the event were Dr Ahmed Lutfun Mobin, a physician at the hospital, Prof Dr Nasima Sultana, Additional Director General (admin) of the Directorate General of Health Services, Brig Gen M Imran Hamid, an official of Bangladesh Army, and Didarul Islam, a member of traffic police (Motijheel Zone).
Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said that 70 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines are currently available in the country. “The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the safest in the world. The treatment facilities are there in case any side-effects of vaccination is seen,” the Minister said Wednesday.
Bangladesh first received two million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India as a gift and then imported five million more doses from the Serum Institute of India directly.
“The online registration for possible recipients of the inoculation has also started. For getting a shot, one will have to register on www.surokkha.gov.bd,” PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah had said at the event.
Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh
The infection rate of Covid-19 in Bangladesh fell to 3.36 percent on Wednesday, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said in a handout on Thursday.
The health authorities confirmed 17 new coronavirus-related deaths and 528 new cases. With the new fatalities, the death toll rose to 8,072. “The mortality rate is now 1.51 percent,” DGHS said.
Meanwhile, the new cases have pushed up the national tally to 533,444.
Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18 last year.
Source: United News of Bangladesh