‘UK vaccine to be available in Bangladesh’

Diplomatic Correspondent

1 October, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The much-heralded coronavirus vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, would be available in Bangladesh once it is produced and ready for use.

However, there will be no clinical trial of the Oxford vaccine in Bangladesh, said British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson.  

The British envoy was speaking at DCAB Talk held virtually on Wednesday morning when he said they have reached an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to supply one billion doses to low and middle-income countries.

President of Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) Angur Nahar Monty moderated the flagship event of the organization.

In his speech at the UN General Assembly, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the Oxford vaccine is now in stage III of clinical trials, and in case of success AstraZeneca has already begun to manufacture millions of doses, in readiness for rapid distribution. The UK is giving importance to equal access to vaccines by all the countries.

The British High Commissioner said the UK remains beside Bangladesh in addressing climate-related challenges and helping to resolve the Rohingya crisis apart from deepening trade and investment relations with Bangladesh.

On the situation in Rakhine state of Myanmar, Robert said the situation in Rakhine is not very encouraging and the UK is actively supporting the mechanism that exists to ensure accountability for the crimes committed against the Rohingyas Muslim population.

In this context, he said Myanmar will continue to face pressure at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The British envoy said the UK, as a pen-holder for Myanmar on Rohingya issues, will make sure that Rohingya issues remain on the agenda in the UN Security Council. "We are working very closely with Bangladesh and international partners," he added.

Robert laid importance on the safe, dignified and voluntary repatriation of over a million forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State.

In this regard, he highlighted the vital citizenship issue which can boost confidence among Rohingyas currently living in Cox’s Bazar to return to their home country in Myanmar.

Turning to UK-Bangladesh relations, Robert said he sees a very exciting time in Bangladesh-UK ties and said they are seeing huge interest among British businesses and in the government to further enhance trade relations with Bangladesh.