Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday urged all to refrain from doing politics, spreading rumours over vaccine.
He urged those who are doing politics and conspiring over people’s lives not to make people confused about the vaccine as it is one of the lifesaving tools.
The minister made the remarks while talking to reporters after receiving 20 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine gifted by India and licensed from Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami handed over the Covid-19 vaccine to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque at a ceremony at State guesthouse Padma on Thursday afternoon.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam was, among others, present.
The Health Minister expressed satisfaction over the vaccine management as Bangladesh has prior experiences in vaccination.
“The country has been made free from polio. People know very well about vaccine and its side effects,” he said.
The minister said the government is planning to carry out a trial of vaccination programme within the next six-seven days.
Zahid Maleque said another 50 lakh doses of the vaccine from India are expected to arrive within this month.
He said 50 lakh doses of vaccine are scheduled to arrive in each of the next six months as per the agreement.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will join the first vaccination progamme through a videoconference.
He thanked the Indian government, Indian Prime Minister and the people of India for staying beside Bangladesh both in time of happiness and sorrows.
“It’s an important moment. We’re very delighted today. We’ve received the vaccine and taken it to our store. It’s proved today that friends help each other in need,” he said.
The Health Minister said the entire world and the global economy are affected today due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“India was always beside Bangladesh since 1971. India will continue to help us,” he said.
The friendship between Bangladesh and India has got strengthened with India’s gift, Maleque said.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the economy of many countries in the world. Look at the USA and Europe! Bangladesh is relatively in a better condition as our economy still moving on, the life here is almost normal,” he said.
A chartered flight of Air India carrying the 20 lakh doses of vaccine landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 11:21 am.
Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar tweeted on “VaccineMaitri”, saying that India reaffirms the highest priority to its relations with Bangladesh.
It is part of the commitment made at the highest level -– Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi — and as part of ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, said Indian High Commissioner Doraiswami.
He said Bangladesh and India will fight the disease together as friends.
Source: United News of Bangladesh