20 lakh doses of Covishield, a Covid19 vaccine manufactured in India was gifted by the
Government of India to the Government and people of Bangladesh on 21 January 2021. The vaccines were presented by High Commissioner of India, Shri Vikram Doraiswami to Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Dr. AK Abdul Momen and Minister of Health and Family Welfare, H.E. Zahid Maleque in a ceremony held at Padma Guest House, Dhaka. State Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Shahriar Alam was present at the ceremony along with representatives from Prime Minister’s Office, Government of Bangladesh. The ceremony which was held shortly after the vaccines were delivered with due protocols to Bangladesh in an Air India aircraft.
Addressing the gathering at the gifting ceremony, High Commissioner Shri. Vikram
Doraiswami said that in line with the discussions held during the virtual summit between
Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh H.E. Sheikh Hasina,
India has delivered the vaccines within a week of the vaccine roll-out in India (which had
begun on 16 January 2021).
He said that as part of the Neighborhood First Policy, India accords high priority to the IndiaBangladesh relationship. He said that the gift of 20 lakh doses of Covishield is in fact the biggest such dispatch by India to any of the neighboring countries. The consignment which consists of Covishield vaccine (the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine) has been manufactured in Pune, India by Serum Institute and purchased by Government of India from its own quota for gifting purposes.
High Commissioner said that 21 January is a landmark day as the arrival of the vaccines – for the very first time in Bangladesh will support Bangladesh’s own efforts against Covid19. He said that India, as a committed partner of Bangladesh is delighted to have been able to
contribute to this historic moment. He added that the arrival of the vaccine is only the latest of many steps already taken by the two countries to combat Covid19 together. As early as 15 March 2020, at the intiative of Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modi, a SAARC Leaders video conference for combating Covid19 was organized. During the conference, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. Sheikh Hasina called for collaboration through utilization of our collective capacity, expertise and resources. The SAARC Covid19 Emergency Fund was setup soon after. Healthcare professionals, administrators, etc from Bangladesh have also participated in online capacity building courses conducted by premier medical institutes in India such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). High Commissioner recalled that the Bangla-language course on Covid19 organized by AIIMS, Bhubaneswar specially for healthcare professionals from Bangladesh was a resounding success. A 2-day online ‘Train The Trainer’ course was also conducted by the Government of India on 19-20 January 2021 to facilitate the vaccine roll-out.
After gifting the 20 lakh doses of Covishield to Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Dr. AK Abdul
Momen and Minister of Health and Family Welfare, H.E. Zahid Maleque, High Commissioner
expressed hope that the two countries would through such joint efforts defeat the pandemic and continue to partner for the benefit of our people.