Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday pledged to procure whatever vaccine doses are required to protect the countrymen from Covid-19, saying 80 percent people will be brought under vaccination free of cost.
“We’ll bring more vaccines. We’ll purchase whatever doses are required and we’ve allocated enough money in the budget for that purpose,” she said while delivering her valedictory speech in Parliament.The premier said her government is in talks with countries like China, Russia, the USA and Japan for procuring more jabs.
“Some Tk 32,236 crore has been allotted in the budget in this regard alongside a separate amount of Tk 10,000 crore which can also be used if required,” she told the House with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
Sheikh Hasina, also Leader of the House, reiterated her pledge to bring 80 percent of the country’s people under vaccination free of cost as 4.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine from the US and Sinopharm jab from the China have arrived in Dhaka.
Bangladesh has faced some difficulties in carrying out vaccination for a time being when India stopped the export of Covid-19 jab following a massive surge in coronavirus cases in the neighbouring country, she said, adding that the problem of vaccines is now over.
The premier said the coronavirus situation would not have worsened to such an extent had people followed her call to celebrate last Eid-ul-Fitr at their present locations. “The virus has spread to districts for disobeying the call and this is the reality.” About the reopening of educational institutions, she said some people are talking about reopening schools, colleges and universities amid the pandemic, but the parents of students are opposing it. “The government can’t put the lives of students at risk through resuming classes at educational institutions under the current situation,” she said.
The Leader of the House said teachers had already been inoculated against Covid-19 while students will be vaccinated following the guidelines of World Health Organization (WHO) and then educational institutions will open.She urged the country’s people to abide by the ongoing lockdown and health guidelines properly to stem the surge in coronavirus infections. “I call upon the countrymen to abide by the guidelines of the lockdown properly to protect yourselves and others. Don’t let the coronavirus spread further,” she said.
The premier said the only way to curb the spread of the virus is to wear masks, clean hands and maintain a distance in such a way that no one can be infected afresh with the lethal virus.
She said her government has made Covid-19 test free for the poor people across the country as it spreads to districts.
Sheikh Hasina, also president of Awami League, said her party and its associate bodies alongside the government have tried their best to stand by the people in their hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic. “My government has given stimulus packages to various sectors and financial assistance to the people (during the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic) to ease their lives and livelihoods alongside keeping the country’s economy moving,” she said.
Mentioning that people of every profession and class have got government support, she said, “We’ll again provide assistance with our maximum capacities as the coronavirus surfaces again. We’ll definitely look into the matter so that no one faces difficulties in getting food,” she said.