India variant found in few patients as border was closed in time, he says
The highly contagious Indian variant of coronavirus did not spread much in Bangladesh, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said Monday.
“This [Indian] variant has been found in a small number of patients in Bangladesh. It could not spread much as the border with the neighbouring country was closed in time," he said, reports UNB.
In a briefing at his ministry, he also said the government has been advised to keep the border shut until the situation in India stabilizes.
Meanwhile, the minister also said that the administering of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine will begin on May 25 or 26.
“The vaccine will be given to those who need it the most,” he said while responding to a question from reporters.
The health minister said the Covid-19 vaccine stock will run out in seven to 10 days, and the government is trying to get vaccines to continue the inoculation drive.
“We contacted the Indian high commissioner, we spoke to the UK authorities and the prime minister is also trying to get the vaccine doses,” he said.
“We spoke to the US, China, Russia and the UK, and some progress has been made. Hopefully, you will get some good news soon. We got only seven million doses out of 30 million as per the contract. We are also worried about the second dose of the vaccine, like you,” he added.
Since February 7, Bangladesh has administered over 5.81 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. The administering of first doses was halted on April 26 has India has failed supply contractual shipments of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine due to their domestic coronavirus situation.
A further 56,940 people received their second dose of the vaccine on Monday, taking the total number of people who have received both doses to 3.75 million.
If Bangladesh's vaccine stock runs out in 7-10 days and more doses are not secured in time, around 1.4 million people who have received their first dose may be left waiting for their second.