Bangladesh seeks Chinese medical experts

Chinese FM assures of support in Rohingya repatriation

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 01:01, Apr 09,2020


Bangladesh requested China to send an expert medical team comprising doctors, nurses and technicians for treating COVID-19 and providing training to Bangladeshi medical professionals.

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen made the request during a telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Tuesday, according to a foreign ministry release.

Wang Yi made the call and the two ministers spoke for about 45 minutes.

Momen, during the conversations, sought the medical support initially for Sheikh Russel Gastro-liver Institute and Hospital which was declared a dedicated facility in Dhaka for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.  

He also discussed the possibility of a Chinese expert medical team comprising doctors, nurses and technicians, coming to Bangladesh to treat coronavirus-infected patients and provide training to Bangladeshi medical professionals.

He also discussed the possibility of importing ventilation machines from China during this critical moment of coronavirus spread in Bangladesh.

Momen also requested the Chinese minister to consider deferral of payments against all back-to-back letter of credit or LC opened in favour of Chinese suppliers for one year.

The Chinese foreign minister responded positively to the Bangladesh minister’s requests and assured him of their full support to Bangladesh, the foreign ministry claimed.

Wang Yi expressed gratitude to the Bangladesh government for its contribution of masks, hand sanitisers and hand gloves etc. during the critical moments of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan city and other parts of China.

Momen too expressed gratitude to China for their contribution of coronavirus test kits, personal protection equipment and infrared thermometer.

He extended appreciation to the Chinese government for taking care of Bangladeshi students in Wuhan and other parts of China since the first day of the coronavirus outbreak.

During the conversation, the Bangladesh government requested China once again to help in early repatriation of Rohingya people to Myanmar as promised by the South East Asian country.  

Wang Yi assured to extend Chinese support to that end, the foreign ministry said.

The two foreign ministers also reiterated their support for each other in the international arena.

Bangladesh, China and Myanmar established a two-layer tripartite mechanism with foreign ministers of the three countries on the top more than one a half years ago for facilitating repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingya people of Myanmar from Bangladesh.

The three ministers also established the second layer of the mechanism at the level of senior officials with ambassadors of China and Myanmar to Dhaka and director general of Myanmar wing of the Bangladesh foreign ministry as members.

The Myanmar government was pledged-bound through instruments signed with the Bangladesh government and subsequent commitments made at international platforms to take back Rohingya people by creating atmosphere conducive for their repatriation on the ground, diplomats said, adding that there was no substantive progress on the ground for starting the much sought after repatriation.

The latest Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 11,16,000, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh foreign ministry.

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