In the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, Bangladeshi corporate giant Beximco Group has come forward to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), medicines, and test kits for protecting the frontline healthcare professionals who are dealing with the Covid-19 patients every day.
Beximco Pharma, pharmaceutical division of the group, has started distributing PPE, which include very high-quality imported 'TYVEK Protective Coveralls' (protective gowns), face masks, gloves, protective goggles etc. in two phases, according to a release.
Managing Director of Beximco Pharma Nazmul Hassan MP handed over the first consignment of the equipment to representatives from different testing centres and government-designated hospitals for treating Covid-19 patients during a simple ceremony at a local hotel today.
"Beximco will continue to provide essential PPE in order to ensure the safety of the doctors, nurses, and patients and help to maintain normal hospital activities as much as possible. Beximco Pharma is also actively involved in different initiatives and support programmes in response to the Covid-19 outbreak," Nazmul said.
The group will also arrange much needed ventilators from abroad for the critical coronavirus patients, and provide financial support in the creation of modern laboratory facilities and enhancing hospital facilities, especially for the underprivileged, in collaboration with a research organisation of international repute, he added.
Beximco Group has contributed Tk 15 crore (US$1.8 million) to support this initiative.
Beximco Group Chairman ASF Rahman said the group is always committed to extending support to any national emergency.
"As the spread of Covid-19 accelerates, affecting almost every country around the world, we are also facing an unprecedented challenge to cope with the impact of this pandemic," he said
"Ensuring access to personal protective equipment is a top priority right now, and we are proud to be responding to this need to ensure the safety of healthcare professionals in Bangladesh. We, as a responsible business group, will continue to provide our wholehearted support to the Government in facing this enormous crisis," ASF Rahman said.
Beximco Group Vice-Chairman Salman F Rahman, who is also Private Industry and Investment Adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said the corporates of Bangladesh are acutely aware of their social responsibilities and have always joined the national efforts to tackle any crisis.
Referring to the prime minister's speech stating this fight against coronavirus as a war and testing time for humanity, Salman F Rahman said: "It has to be fought on all fronts involving both private and public sectors."
"I believe that the initiative of Beximco Group will inspire other entities, large and small, in Bangladesh to come forward in helping the government to tackle this crisis to the best of their abilities," he added.
Bangladesh has so far reported 48 cases of COVID-19 and 5 deaths, with a number people suspected of having COVID-19 under quarantine.
The programme was attended by: Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh; Prof Allen Ross, senior director, Infectious Diseases Division of icddr,b; Dr Bardan Jung Rana, WHO Representative in Bangladesh; Dr Michael Friedman, country director, CDC; Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director, IEDCR; and Prof Dr Ahmedul Kabir, general secretary, Bangladesh Society of Medicine.