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Citing the donation a gesture of solidarity to the people of Bangladesh, the British high commissioner Robert Chatterton-Dickson stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a long-standing global challenge and as such the menace needed a global response.

“The government of the UK was long working for means to ensure equitable access to the vaccines to combat the pandemic,” he added.

Japanese envoy ITO Naoki appreciated the initiatives of the government of Bangladesh to vaccinate the target population.

“Japanese government remained engaged with Bangladesh from the outset of the pandemic and once the vaccines were available”, Naoki added.

He expressed the hope that both the governments are tested friends who stand each other in moments of crisis.

The UK consignment contains 4.08 million vaccine doses while Japan’s recent dispatch contains 1.49 million (AstraZeneca) doses leading to a total of 4.55 million doses, the release added.

Health minister Zahid Maleque expressed gratitude to both the governments for extending the much-needed support to Bangladesh.

Health and Family Welfare Affairs senior secretary Lokman Hossain Mia, Foreign Affairs Ministry secretary (West) ambassador Sabbir Ahmed Chowdhury and senior high officials, as well as dignitaries from the local embassies, were present during the handover ceremony

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