China Communist Party is also providing various types of medical equipment to Awami League. Those would be brought in the planes if there remains any space after loading the vaccines, he added.

A senior official of the government told Prothom Alo on Friday morning that two cargo planes of Bangladesh Air Force will go to China on the morning of 13 June to bring in the gifted vaccines.

The BAF jets will return to Bangladesh with vaccines and gifted medical equipment in the afternoon that day, the official added.

Earlier, on 5 June, Yan Hualong said China is ready to deliver 600,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine as a gift in the second batch to Bangladesh by 13 June.

China gave a gift of 500,000 doses of vaccine produced by Sinopharm to Bangladesh on 12 May. Of the amount, 30,000 doses were allocated for the China citizens working in Bangladesh.

Nine days after the arrival of the first batch of 500,000 doses of gift vaccine in Bangladesh, China again announced the provision of the second batch of gift vaccines to Bangladesh.

Chinese state councilor and foreign minister Wang Yi announced that China would gift the second batch of 600,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh during a phone conversation with Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on 20 May.

Following the phone conversation of the two ministers, the China embassy in Bangladesh issued a media release that said, “China pays close attention to the latest situation of the epidemic in Bangladesh. At the critical time in Bangladesh’s fight against the epidemic, China is concerned about the urgent need for vaccine of Bangladeshi friends...”

The second batch of 600,000 doses of vaccine is also produced in Sinopharm.

Alongside buying 15 million doses of vaccine produced by Sinopharm, the Bangladesh government is in talks with Russia to buy Sputnik V vaccines.

Diplomatic sources said the government almost finalised the agreement of buying 15 million doses of vaccine by Sinopharm. In the last week of May, an additional secretary of the government revealed the price of Sinopharm vaccine to journalists which has cast a shadow of uncertainty on receiving the first batch of the vaccine in June.

Sri Lanka also bought vaccines from Sinopharm but at a higher price. Bangladesh called this an unwarranted situation and regretted the matter.

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