Sinopharm has promised regular supply of the vaccine, says the minister
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on co-production of Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh is ready for signing and it should be done without any delay.
“We’ve received it and it’s with the Health Ministry. It should be done at any moment. I think the Health Ministry should dispose of it very quickly,” he told reporters, after a meeting with the Chinese ambassador Li Jiming at the state guest house Padma on Monday.
Dr Momen said that the government of Bangladesh, Sinopharm and a local company (Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd) will sign the agreement.
He also said that Incepta will bring in bulk and bottling, labeling and finishing of the vaccine will be done locally, making the price relatively very cheap.
“The demand is very high there and Bangladesh has been requested to inform the Chinese side beforehand on the quantity of the vaccine that Bangladesh needs.”
The government has planned to vaccinate 10 million people each week and hopes to vaccinate 80 million people within two months, he added.
Till now, Bangladesh has received 7 million Sinopharm vaccine doses under a purchase agreement of 30 million. Besides, China sent 1.1 million Sinopharm doses as a gift in two consignments in July.
The minister said that Sinopharm promised to provide vaccines continuously.
“Once the agreement is signed, it may take two months to start the production,” Momen said.
Bangladesh initially signed a deal to purchase 15 million doses of vaccines from Sinopharm, which was expected to be delivered within three months. After receiving the first consignment, the government struck another deal for 15 million vaccines.
In the last 24 hours till Sunday, some 212,163 people received their first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine, taking the total to 2,248,106 to date, while another 9,128 people received their second jab.
Besides, talking about the former finance minister AMA Muhith’s health condition, he said that Muhith has become very thin as he is unable to eat properly and deprived of adequate sleep.
“He took two doses of Covid vaccine. That’s the hope. He’s now 87 years old but he’s an asset. I hope, he’ll fully recover soon,” Dr Momen added.
Muhith tested positive for Covid-19 a week ago and has been taking treatment at the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka after spending initial days at home.