Bangladesh inks MoU with Indian company over Covid vaccine

36

Dhaka, Nov 05: The government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Serum Institute of India Pvt Limited and Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) to get three crore dodges of SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine).

Additional secretary to Health Service Division Mostafa Kamal and representatives from Serum Institute and Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited of Bangladesh signed the MoU at the Health Ministry in presence of Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday.

As per the MoU, Serum institute will provide SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine) to Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL).

The Health Minister said, “Once the vaccine is developed, the Serum Institute will provide three crore dodges of vaccine in the first phase, and BPL will bring it to Bangladesh.”

“We would be able to provide the vaccine to 1.5 crore people once it’s available in Bangladesh as two shots of vaccine is needed for one person,” he said.

The process to bring Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine will start in January next, said Zahid adding that a decision was taken in principle that Serum Institute will provide the vaccine at the same price they would procure.

Zahid Maleque on Sunday said discussions are underway with different countries for procuring Coronavirus vaccines once those are available.

“Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) will soon be signed with those companies that are currently in the advanced stage of vaccine production,” he said.

The minister came up with the remarks while talking to reporters at the secretariat.

The ministry has adequate funds for procuring vaccines and more will be sought from the Finance Ministry, if necessary, he said.

“Everyone won’t get the vaccine at a time as it’ll be distributed in groups. The country has all the preparations to fight the second wave of Covid-19,” Zahid Maleque said.

Covid-19 in Bangladesh

The number of deaths from Covid-19 in Bangladesh rose to 6,004 on Wednesday with the death of 21 more people in 24 hours.

Besides, health authorities registered 1517 new coronavirus cases during the period, pushing up the caseload to 4,14,164.

So far, 331,197 patients have recovered from the disease — 1910 in the last 24 hours.

The fatality rate in Bangladesh is 1.45 percent, the Directorate General of Health Services said.

Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8. The number of cases reached the 300,000-mark on August 26. The first death was reported on March 18 and the death toll exceeded 5,000 on Sept 22.

Global Covid-19 cases

The number of global coronavirus cases is approaching 48 million on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

According to the data, the death toll from the virus climbed to 1,223,456 while the total caseload counted 47,997,816 as of Thursday morning.

The US has the highest case tally in the world at 9.4 million and highest death toll at 233,651.

Infections are rising in all the states but it is climbing at the fastest pace in the Midwest and Southwest.

The nationwide seven-day average of new daily cases now stands at about 86,363 — more than double what it was on September 4, data from Johns Hopkins University show. The rising numbers affirm experts’ warnings another surge is well underway and will only get worse.

Besides, over 850,000 children in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, a new report of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association says.

Brazil registered 610 more deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the national death toll to 161,106, the Ministry of Health said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, 23,976 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, bringing the nationwide count to 5,590,025, it said.

India is second in cases with 8.3 million, and third in deaths at 123,611.

Coronavirus cases were first reported in China in December last year and the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic in March. There is currently no vaccine for the virus.