Dhaka joins Beijing-led Covid effort

It stresses joint steps to fight pandemic

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 00:53, Apr 28,2021


Bangladesh has joined an effort involving China and several South Asian countries to set up a mechanism to ensure supply of emergency medical facilities to any country in the region in dealing with the Covid pandemic, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said after a six-nation meeting on Tuesday.

The foreign ministers of China, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka attended the meeting virtually from their respective capital.

No one from India, Bhutan and the Maldives took part in the meeting, the  minister told journalists, adding that the Chinese foreign minister informed the meeting that they had invited India to join the effort.

In the meeting, China proposed to set up storages of medical materials to meet emergency needs, establish a development centre for post-Covid poverty alleviation and form an e-commerce forum for rural regions, he said.

On Bangladesh’s efforts to expedite fresh procurement of Covid vaccine, Momen said that the government had also contacted the US to obtain the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as they had a surplus stock of the vaccine, in addition to the steps to procure vaccines from Russia, India and China.

Bangladesh emphasised creating provisions for emergency supply of medical oxygen, Covid vaccines and strengthening multilateral efforts instead of unilateral approaches to containing the pandemic, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen, who also joined the meeting, said.

Bangladesh earlier joined an effort hosted by the Indian prime minister for countries in the SAARC region on combating the pandemic.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email