Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said the Chinese government is working to start delivery of Covid-19 vaccine before Eid al-Fitr despite ongoing 5-day May Day holiday in China, what he sees as "special friendship" with Bangladesh.
He said Chinese ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming recently informed them that vaccine doses will start arriving here before Eid while the health minister Zahid Maleque shared a more specific date – 10 May, reports UNB.
"The health ministry will decide when and how many doses of vaccine will arrive and what will be the transportation system. They know when we'll need it," Momen told UNB adding that they just have helped the health ministry establish the network with both China and Russia as alternative sources of vaccines.
The foreign minister said there is a five-day May Day holiday in China that will end on 5 May and everything remains closed in China due to the current holiday.
"It takes some time as vaccines are produced based on order," Momen said, adding that discussions with Russia and the United States are on to get vaccines.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday reaffirmed that the government will procure vaccines at any cost to protect people from coronavirus.
"We are bringing more vaccines, no matter how much money is required; we will bring more vaccines."
China was supposed to give 500,000 doses of vaccine as a gift apart from supplying vaccines through commercial purchase.
Bangladesh has received 7 million of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses produced by Serum Institute of India (SII) vaccines through its contract. Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine as a bilateral partnership gift. This is the largest amount sent from India to any country.
The US has decided to share its entire stock of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines with the world once it clears federal safety reviews, the White House said, with as many as 60 million doses expected to be available for export in the coming months.