India assures vaccine supply, Russia, China ready to coproduce: Momen

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Dailynewsun Desk:

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abul Momen on Monday said India has reassured that it would resume vaccine export to Dhaka as soon as the COVID situation improves there while Russia and China are ready for vaccine supply and co-production in Bangladesh.

He revealed this while sharing outcomes of separate bilateral meetings with his Indian, Russian and Chinese counterparts on the sidelines of a connectivity conference in Uzbekistan recently with media, reports BSS.

“You (Bangladesh) will get when our (India) situation will improve a bit,” Dr Momen said quoting Indian external affairs minister Dr. S. Jaishankar.

However, Momen said, his Indian counterpart didn’t give him any timeframe when Bangladesh can get the rest of its total purchased 30 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from New Delhi.

The foreign minister said, Jaishankar told him that Indian never said that it would not provide vaccine to Bangladesh.

The foreign minister said his Indian counterpart also expressed his happiness as the supply of vaccination to Bangladesh is back in track again from diversified external sources including under COVAX arrangement.

Bangladesh has so far received 1.2 crore vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) since India has suspended its vaccine export in March.

Referring his meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, Dr Momen said Moscow has agreed to provide its Sputnik V Covid-19 as well as to go for co-production in Bangladesh. “Things are at final stage,” he said.

However, he said, under the coproduction scheme, Russia would not share the vaccine production technology with Bangladesh, the local pharmaceuticals would only be allowed to bottling and finishing the jabs here.

Referring Lavrov, Momen said, Russia would only share the technology, if other vaccine manufacturing countries will do the same.

In his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Dr Momen also discussed about vaccine supply here and co-production in Bangladesh.

During the meeting, Wang confirmed that Bangladesh is getting 10 lakh more doses of Sinopharm vaccine as a donation in addition to 11 lakh doses of gift from China, he said.

Dr Momen said his Chinese counterpart also informed him that two Chinese vaccine companies Sinopharm and Sinovac are ready to go for co-production with local Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals.

The representatives of those Chinese companies will visit Dhaka soon to finalize the co-production mechanism with the Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies, he said.

He said Dhaka has already made a good lineup of getting more COVID-19 vaccines from different sources under COVAX along with commercial purchase to ensure steady supply of jabs for the countrymen.

The foreign minister returned here this morning after attending the international conference on “Central & South Asia: regional connectivity, challenges and opportunity” held in Tashkent from July 15 to 16.