Tuesday, 21 September, 2021

‘80pc people to be vaccinated by Mar’

‘80pc people to be vaccinated by Mar’

Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Wednesday informed the Parliament that 80 per cent of the country’s people will get Covid-19 jabs by March next year, reports UNB.

“We’ll be able to vaccinate 80 per cent of people within the first quarter of the next year,” he said, explaining how Bangladesh would collect the Covid-19 vaccines from several sources by this time.

The minister was speaking on a cut motion on his ministry in Parliament as the opposition Jatiya Party, BNP and Ganoforum MPs harshly criticised the health ministry for its failure to ensure vaccines for mass people.

He said some 25 lakh Covid-19 vaccines of Moderna will arrive within July 2 to July 3. 

Vaccines purchased from China will also start coming by that time. Bangladesh has inked an agreement with Chinese Sinopharm to get 1.50 crore vaccine, said Zahid.

Bangladesh will get 6.30 crore vaccines within December under the Covax facilities… the country will have a total stock of 10 crore vaccine doses by December through which it will be able to inoculate five crore people, he said

Besides, Bangladesh will get 7 crore doses from Johnson & Johnson in the first quarter of the next year and it will be able to inoculate seven crore people with this, he added.

BNP MPs Harunur Rashid, Rumeen Farhana and Mosharrof Hossain, Jatiya Party MPs Mujibul Haque, Pir Fazlur Rahman, Rustum Ali Faraji, Shameem Haider Patwary, among others, joined the discussion on cut motion during the passage of the national budget for 2021-22 fiscal. 

They also came down heavily on the minister for allegations of widespread corruption, irregularities and mismanagement in the health sector.

The health minister, however, rejected these allegations and asked the lawmakers.

“You’ll have to say specifically where corruption took place. The wholesale allegation of corruption in the health sector is not acceptable,” he said.  

Zahid said that none could go abroad to receive the medical treatment amid the Covid-19 restrictions and they are taking services in Bangladeshi

hospitals.  “You are taking services since the hospital can render the services. You remain well,” he said.

The minister claimed that no corruption took place in procurement of masks. “The masks that MPs talked about were never purchased. No payment was made,” he said.