Taking effective steps to ensure vaccine for all
Taking a swipe at those criticising the government over its Covid vaccine management, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged them to have patience and see what the government can do to ensure vaccines for all.
"I would like to tell the critics to have patience and see what we can do. Why do you criticise?" she said.
Speaking at a virtual discussion marking the 72nd foundation anniversary of Awami League, the PM said the government would ensure vaccines for all.
Hasina, also the AL president, joined the event from the Gono Bhaban, while other party leaders from its Bangabandhu Avenue central office.
The PM said, "We're taking effective measures so that everyone gets vaccines. We'll do that."
She said the government started contacting every country where vaccine development was at the research level. "Many countries in the world could not go for vaccination yet, but Bangladesh started the inoculation drive after collecting vaccines."
The AL chief said India banned vaccine export following the massive transmission of novel coronavirus there. Although Bangladesh fell in trouble to some extent due to the export ban, it later started procuring vaccines from other sources, she added.
"I feel stunned when I see those who were given two doses of vaccines on a priority basis now criticise us."
Hasina asked the critics to try to understand the global situation over the vaccine issue. "Bangladesh earlier procured vaccine doses for $4 each…now it's $15. The price will go up further in the days to come."
The PM said the government has worked out plans so that vaccines can be produced locally by setting up a vaccine institute here to conduct research in this regard. "We'll take the necessary measures to develop vaccines in the future by setting up this institute."
Noting that the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic is highlytransmitted throughout the country and many places across the world, the premier urged the people to follow the lockdown and health safety rules even after getting vaccinated.
"You all will have to follow the lockdown restrictions that we have enforced. All will have to stay home. If we stay home, wear face masks, wash hands regularly and remain alert, then we can overcome this situation."
In the beginning of the discussion, Hasina unveiled the cover of a memorial book titled "Sheikh Hasinar Netritter Char Dashak: Sangrami Neta Theke Kaljoyee Rastronayok" (Four Decades of Sheikh Hasina's Leadership: From a Struggling Leader to a Time-tested Statesman).
The book was published by AL information and research sub-committee and edited by party Information and Research Secretary Salim Mahmud.
AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader delivered the welcome speech at the event, arranged by AL.
Party central leaders Matia Chowdhury, Abdur Razzaque, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Hasan Mahmud, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya and Meher Afroz Chumki, among others, spoke at the discussion, conducted by AL Publicity and Publication Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap.
The AL was founded on June 23in 1949 at "Rose Garden" on KM Das Lane in Dhaka. It later transformed into the biggest political party of the country to lead struggles of freedom, the Liberation War and all other democratic movements.