Eminent citizens yesterday condemned what they said was some quarters becoming active in profiteering from Covid-19 vaccine procurement.
"We think that since the government is fulfilling its responsibilities over vaccine import and inoculating people, there is no scope of any intermediary role, and we expect that the government will take appropriate steps in this regard," a statement signed by 18 renowned personalities said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has appealed to relax the intellectual property rights of vaccine production at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other forums, which is for the benefit of all human beings across the world and all should be vocal about it, said the statement.
At the same time, it is very important to implement vaccine production by capable domestic manufacturers in the country, the statement said.
"For Bangladesh, there is no alternative to tackling the pandemic without vaccine production. We hope that the government will take steps to implement domestic production with a 'wartime-like' urgency," it added.
They lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her role in acquiring vaccines from India at the beginning, and later when India was unable to deliver vaccines due to its domestic Covid-19 crisis, from China and Russia.
The signatories are: Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, Hasan Azizul Huq, Prof Anupam Sen, Ramendu Majumdar, Ferdousi Mazumder, Justice Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik, Abed Khan, Prof Abdus Selim, Mofidul Hoque, Mamunur Rashid, Dr Amjad Hossain, Dr Fauzia Moslem, Dr Rashid-E-Mahbub, Dr Kamrul Hasan Khan, Prof ABM Faroque, Shahriar Kabir, Nasiruddin Yousuff and Prof Muntassir Mamoon.