Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Friday said they are now in close discussion with Bangladesh over coronavirus vaccine assistance.
“China just announced to provide 10 million Covid vaccines to developing countries through the COVAX initiative,” he said in a video message marking the Chinese New Year, wishing a New Year with less coronavirus and more prosperity.
Ambassador Jiming said the Chinese New Year is widely celebrated around the world. “The charm of this ancient festival transcends borders and races. So, join us to welcome a joyful “niu” year.”
He said the Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China and this year marks the year of the ox or cow. “So, happy New Year!”
“Mind you, when I say ‘new’, I actually mean “niu”, the Chinese word for ox or cow, which happens to have the same pronunciation as the English word new,” he said.
Ox or cow is generally perceived as an animal that’s hard working, tough and reliable, which are some very useful traits in a prolonged pandemic.
“And here is an interesting fact: the world’s first vaccine was made with virus from cows,” said the Ambassador.
Then in this year of the cow, vaccines again come to the rescue, he said adding that maybe this little coincidence foretells a good year with less coronavirus and more prosperity.
Bangladesh launched a massive countrywide vaccination drive on Feb 7. The government procured five million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd last month.
India also gifted two million doses of the vaccine.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last week ordered reducing the age limit from 55 years to 40 to get registered for vaccination to expand and accelerate the drive.
Bangladesh’s coronavirus situation
Bangladesh’s daily coronavirus infection rate fell to 2.65 percent on Thursday as the country ramped up vaccination drive and awareness campaigns.
The health authorities recorded nine Covid-19 related deaths and 418 fresh cases in the last 24 hours until morning.
So far, Bangladesh has confirmed 539,571 coronavirus cases, including 8,248 fatalities. The mortality rate stood at 1.53 percent, according to a handout from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Until morning, 485,971 patients (90.07 percent) have recovered.
Bangladesh reported its first Coronavirus cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18 last year.
So far, 3,808,017 samples, including 15,776 in the past 24 hours, have been tested. The overall infection rate is 14.17 percent.