Dhaka needs no Indian army to fight COVID-19: FM

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 20:51, Apr 22,2020 | Updated: 00:18, Apr 23,2020

 
 

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen. -- New Age file photo

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said that Bangladesh did not require services of the Indian Army team for containing COVID-19 pandemic.

‘We do not need such assistance, rather we are sending teams to different countries,’ the foreign minister told New Age over phone, about an Indian media report on preparations of the Indian Army for deploying troops to several countries including Bangladesh for containing the disease.

Bangladesh armed forces have sent medical teams to Kuwait, he said.

Bangladesh also extended support to Maldives, Bhutan and China, the foreign minister added.  

‘The Indian Army is readying separate teams to be deployed in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan to help those countries boost capabilities to deal with rising cases of coronavirus,’ Indian media The Print reported on Tuesday with reference to the state-owned news agency Press Trust of India.

The teams for Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan are being readied as part of India’s policy of extending helping hand to all friendly countries in the region to fight the pandemic.

Bangladesh diplomatic sources said that the Indian side did not inform anything about their plan to send Indian Army teams in COVID-19 operations. ‘Publishing a report by Indian state-owned news agency PTI is, however, significant,’ a Bangladesh official said. 

India has been playing a key role in pushing for a common framework in fighting the pandemic in the SAARC region.

As part of its policy to help friendly countries to deal with the pandemic, India is also supplying anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to 55 countries, according to the report.

In the neighbourhood, India is sending the drug to Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh Nepal, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, it added.

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