Dhaka, A special plane of the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) carrying the China-donated Covid-19 vaccines and AD syringes landed in capital Dhaka early on Wednesday.
Chief of Air Staff of the BAF Masihuzzaman Serniabat along with other senior officials were present at the BAF Base Bangabandhu in Dhaka’s Kurmitola to receive the Sinopharm vaccines, the Xinhua news agency reported.
A forklift unloaded boxes of the Chinese vaccines from the military transport plane shortly after it landed at around 5:30 a.m. local time.
According to an official handout at the air base, the goodwill mission was conducted by a C-130J transport aircraft of the BAF to bring the Sinopharm vaccines and AD syringes provided by China to prevent the coronavirus as a sign of China’s friendly relations with Bangladesh.
It said the Bangladeshi government has expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for its commendable efforts in combating the coronavirus and unwavering support to countries including Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s drug regulator in April authorized emergency use of the Sinopharm vaccines.
The Bangladeshi government has also given the green light to a proposal of producing Chinese Covid-19 vaccines in the country.
Speaking at a virtual interaction with the journalists here on Monday, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming said China and Bangladesh are witnessing progress in their joint fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The vaccine aid was “just in time,” Li said. “It is the latest outcome of China-Bangladesh anti-pandemic cooperation, which again shows that our two peoples are in the same boat, and we will stand with each other till the end of this battle.”
“The virus is our common enemy, and cooperation is the only way out,” he said.
Muhammad Faruk Khan, chairman of Bangladesh’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday that the country’s vaccination drive, which suffered a setback following exhaustion of the stocks, will soon be resumed thanks to the Chinese vaccines.
Khan, who is also a lawmaker and a former minister, said he would like to thank China for sending the Covid-19 vaccine doses as a gift and the gifts China had sent in the past year to help Bangladesh fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
With reference to the decision by the World Health Organization (WHO) to list China’s Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use, he said this is to be a boon for the inoculation drive against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, especially in countries like Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the country’s Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 28 to rein in the pandemic that has so far spread across the country.
Amid uncertainty over the timely arrival of the next Covid-19 vaccine shipment from India, the Bangladeshi government later halted administering the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine across the country.
Bangladeshi Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday said that they were waiting for the Covid-19 vaccines from China to strengthen the countrywide inoculation drive.