Working to bring Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh: Health Minister


24th August, 2020 08:45:22 printer

Working to bring Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh: Health Minister

All government agencies working to tackle coronavirus in Bangladesh are working to bring Covid-19 vaccine to the country, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said Monday.

“The work on vaccine is at an advance level. Countries including the UK, China, Russia, USA, India and others are at the final stage of vaccine development. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will take the right decision at the right time after scrutinising qualities of the vaccines,” he said.

Maleque was speaking at a medical equipment handover programme to tackle Covid-19, organised by Taiwan External Trade Development Centre associated with Walton at Secretariat.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar were also present at the programme.

Replying to a question over rapid-test, the Health Minister said three types of tests are being done for detecting Covid-19 — PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), antigen test and rapid antibody test.

“Though we haven’t taken any measures to conduct rapid antibody test, only PCR and Antigen tests are being conducted at the government laboratory,” he said.

“Bangladesh is tackling the Covid-19 successfully as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken initiatives since the first Covid-19 patients were reported in the country on March 8. Now the number of Covid-19 patients is less than before and 60-70 percent beds are now vacant,” said Maleque.

He said the government is now thinking about reducing the number of specialised hospitals for Covid-19.

‘100 million people using internet’

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said people’s awareness is needed to tackle Covid-19 and the media can play a role in raising awareness.

Minister Jabbar said the government has taken an initiative to provide health equipment in 64 districts free of charge.
“We’re trying to make our life dynamic by creating opportunities to ensure uninterrupted services in the call centres and telemedicine system and by continuing telecommunication and internet services,” he said.

Jabbar said students of primary school are availing the opportunity of the internet. “Under the directive of Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed, ICT Advisor to the Prime Minister, a revolutionary change in digitalisation has been initiated. Now 2100 Gbps internet is being used in the country and more than 100 million people in the country are using the internet,” he said.

Taiwan External Trade Development Centre has handed over 100,000 surgical masks, 1,600 A-95 masks, 20,000 masks of clothes, 10,000 face shields, 500 PPE, 200 glasses and two sets of ventilators.

The death toll from coronavirus in Bangladesh hit on 3,983 Monday, with 42 new fatalities. In the last 24 hours, the health authorities detected 2,485 new patients taking the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country to 297,083.