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Dhaka Tribune

Vaccination for expats ongoing at 7 centres in Dhaka

Over 2,200 expatriate workers received Pfizer and Sinopharm vaccines on the second day

Update : 08 Jul 2021, 09:32 PM

The government has been administering Covid-19 vaccines to migrant workers at seven centres in Dhaka as well as districts and upazilas across the country on a priority basis.

Over 2,200 expatriate workers received Pfizer and Sinopharm vaccines in Dhaka on the second day of the vaccination program for expatriates.

Although the vaccination program for expatriates was launched on Wednesday, it began running at full pace from Thursday.

The centres in Dhaka are Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Sir Salimullah Medical College and Hospital, Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital, Sheikh Russel National Gastroliver Institute and Hospital, Kurmitola General Hospital, and Mugda Medical College and Hospital.

Sheikh Russel National Gastroliver Institute and Hospital and Mugda Medical College and Hospital started fully administering vaccines on Thursday while the other five centres followed on Wednesday.

Also Read- Bangladeshi expats can now use 'Surokkha' for vaccine registration

Over 300 expatriate workers are planned to be vaccinated every day at each centre, except at DMCH where the target is 700 a day.

So far, over 300,000 migrant workers had registered for vaccination till Thursday.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait-bound expatriates will have their Pfizer vaccinations in Dhaka while other expatriates will receive the Sinopharm vaccine outside the capital.

At present, about 100,000 migrant workers, who have completed their visa processing, are waiting to fly to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other countries, according to the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) and Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB).

Munirus Salehin, secretary of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, said if any migrant workers received a single shot of the Pfizer vaccine, they would be allowed to enter Saudi Arabia without the 14-day quarantine.

Also Read- Bangladesh hopeful of receiving 3.5 million vaccine doses from Covax in July

Meanwhile, around 700,000 to 800,000 expatriate workers will face uncertainty over reaching their workplaces abroad due to an incomplete visa process and delayed vaccinations, according to the agency. 

The government will have to provide over a million vaccines to administer double doses that will take about two months to be completed. 

As a result, migrant workers would not be able to return to their workplaces in due time, said the leaders of Baira and Atab.

In this situation, some of the recruiting agencies have urged the government to take immediate steps to vaccinate migrant workers for other countries with single doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.

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