Medical &Health

Work going on to set criteria for receivers of Covid-19 vaccine: Finance Minister

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said work is going on to set the criteria to determine who will get the Covid-19 vaccine in the first phase and the next phases.

“Dates are now being set for different clusters of the society and we’ll distribute the vaccine on cluster basis,” he told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Procurement.

He said that he was willing to receive the vaccine in the first phase. “But it doesn’t depend on me as this is being set by the concerned department considering different aspects.”

He added: “I don’t know when my turn will come. But I can assure you that when my turn comes, I’ll get the jab.”

Last week, he said that he would be the first person to take the Covid-19 vaccine when it reaches the country.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the vaccination campaign at the Kurmitola Hospital from Ganobhaban. Twenty-six people were given the vaccine in the first phase.

Bangladesh signed an agreement with the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd for 30 million doses between January and June (five million doses each month). The first batch of vaccines reached Dhaka on Monday.

Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh

The Covid-19 infection rate in Bangladesh fell to 3.36 percent on Wednesday, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.

On the day, 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 pushed up the national tally to 533,444. The current overall detection rate is 14.82 percent.

Until this morning, 477,935 patients (89.59 percent of the total reported cases) have recovered.

Kamal trashes report on poverty

Responding to a question, the finance minister ruled out a survey report recently published by a think-tank that the country’s poverty increased and now 42 percent people are living below the poverty level after the pandemic hit the economy.

“This is absolutely distorted figure and far from the real situation and also from our position on the poverty,” he said.

He said that it is very easy to say that everybody is below the poverty line.

He also said the country will progress to become a developing country from the least developed country (LDC) in a next UN body meeting scheduled for next month.

“We hope we will be coming out of LDC bracket, God willing,” he said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh