US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun made the call during a press briefing in Dhaka
The visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun on Thursday said that his country seeks long-term partnership with Dhaka to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic as Bangladesh wants early access to prospective vaccines to be developed by the US.
“Long-term partnership has become crucial for two countries to fight Covid-19…combined efforts between Bangladesh and US are needed to deal the pandemic,” he told a press briefing after a meeting on Covid-19 and public health partnership at the government-run Kurmitola General Hospital in Dhaka.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque who joined Biegun at the media briefing said that Dhaka has urged the US government to provide vaccine soon after an inoculate was developed in the US.
“They [US] assured us to provide vaccines to protect the people from the deadly disease,” Maleque said.
Biegun said since the March this year, the US government provided Bangladesh $56.5 million to fight the Covid-19 and simultaneously expressed gratitude as Bangladesh provided much-needed healthcare equipment to protect US medical professionals from the pandemic.
“Relations between Bangladesh and US are two ways… Bangladeshi companies will export 65 million PPE (Personal protective equipment) to US [while] we are planning to build more collaborative initiatives between two countries to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic effectively,” he said.
Biegun said the US government would donate 100 ventilators to Bangladesh for further improving healthcare system to fight the Covid-19.
State Minister for ICT division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl R Miller, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam also attended the briefing.
The US official said US government its different development agencies including USAID were providing both financial and technical supports to Bangladesh for developing major healthcare services.
He lauded Bangladesh’s success for fulfilling global target of both child and maternal mortality rate alongside improving general nutritional status in the country.
Maleque, on the other hand, described the US as a trusted friend and added both the countries were committed to strengthen existing friendly relations to fight the pandemic.
The health minister said alongside providing financial supports, the US government will provide essential medical equipment including ventilators and gas analyzer to Bangladesh.
The US deputy secretary handed over two gas analyzer machine to the health ministry at the end of the media briefing.