Covid shots may arrive from India in October
The supply of Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine from India may resume next month, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said yesterday.
"We have had conversations with the Indian high commissioner and the [officials of] Beximco Pharma. They informed us that the vaccine may arrive in October. We are also in contact with our foreign minister. We hope [vaccines] will be supplied in October," he told journalists following an ambulance handover ceremony in the capital.
At the event, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami handed over 41 ambulances as a donation from the Indian government. He also assured of donating 68 more ambulances soon.
Besides, 81 more ambulances, purchased by the government, were distributed among different hospitals and upazila health complexes across the country.
Addressing the event as the chief guest, Zahid said, "India was the first country to give us vaccine. As the situation became worse in India, they could not supply the vaccine as per the contract. I hope that the supply will resume within a very short time."
Thanking the Indian government, the minister said, "India has always been a trusted friend of Bangladesh. This relation as it is today will be strengthened in the days and decades to come."
On December 13 last year, the government signed a deal with Serum Institute of India to purchase three crore doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
As per the deal, the government was supposed to get 50 lakh doses a month. But until yesterday, it only received 70 lakh shots in two instalments.
The Indian government had also sent 33 lakh jabs as gift.
Amid a steep rise in Covid cases in India and reports of shortage of vaccine doses, the Indian government stopped vaccine exports in March to meet the domestic demand.
At yesterday's event, the minister also recalled the contribution of the Indian government in Bangladesh's Liberation War in 1971.
Meanwhile, the country logged 1,953 new Covid cases yesterday, according to a press release of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
In the last 24 hours till 8:00am yesterday, 41 more people died from Covid.
With them, the total number of fatalities rose to 26,972 and the total cases to 15,32,366.
However, the positivity rate continued to rise for the straight second day.
Yesterday, the positivity rate was 7.69 percent, up from the previous day's 7.46 percent.
Of yesterday's deceased, 25 were men and 16 women, said the press release.