Bangladesh receives 20 lakh doses Indian gift22 January 2021
India on Thursday formally handed over two million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh as gift.
Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami handed over the vaccines to Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at a programme at the foreign ministry.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M. Shahriar Alam were also present, among others, in the programme.
Thanking the government and people of India for the vaccines, Foreign Minister Dr. Momen termed the occasion as historic one.
"It is India's gesture as a friendly neighbor, we widely appreciate it.
This proves the true friendship between Bangladesh and India," Dr. Momen said.
Addressing the gathering, High Commissioner Doraiswami said that India, in line with the discussions held during the virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, delivered the vaccines within a week of their rollout in India.
Vaccination began in India on January 16.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the government would start vaccination programme within five to six days on a trial basis.
The first consignment of COVID-19 vaccines earlier reached Bangladesh from India in the morning by an Air India flight.
Earlier on Wednesday, The Maldives and Bhutan received India's coronavirus vaccine as the first recipients.
Health minister Maleque said that the government was expecting to get another five million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine under a purchase deal with India's Serum Institute and its local vendor Beximco by this month.
Health Secretary Abdul Mannan on Wednesday said that four hospitals in the capital had been selected for dry run of the vaccine among the healthcare providers before rolling out the vaccine for mass immunisation across the country in early February.