The government of France has donated 2.06 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh under the COVAX arrangement as a gesture of solidarity to the friendly country’s fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
The French gesture covers a consignment containing 2,006,400 doses of vaccine as well as their transport to Dhaka through their own arrangement.
French Ambassador to Bangladesh Jean-Marin Schuh handed over the token vaccine doses to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque at a function held at State guesthouse Padma on Tuesday.
Through vaccine sharing, the relations between the two countries will further be strengthened, both sides noted.
The announcement over donating vaccine came during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's recent visit to Paris recently.
“We thank the French government and the people of France. I would like to say that I had never seen in the past the way they showed respect to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina this time during her visit. From the day one, they have really showed great respect to our Prime Minister,” Dr Momen said.
The Foreign Minister said Sweden will also donate 5.30 lakh doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh.
He appreciated the role of Bangladesh Health Minister saying he has done an excellent job under the leadership of Prime Minister in terms of dealing with the Covid-19 situation in the country.
“He (Health Minister) stood like a solid rock under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina despite various criticism,” Dr Momen said.
The French Ambassador hoped that both the countries would soon be able to overcome the pandemic through shared efforts.
He noted that Bangladesh government would allocate a part of these vaccine doses to the Rohingya population in the camps.
The Health Minister thanked the French government for extending support to Bangladesh in such a time when the government of Bangladesh was taking due efforts to inoculate its total population. “It’ll help boost our vaccination efforts.”