Serum Institute of India will export the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to Bangladesh by 26 January, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque.
"We will get 50 lakh doses of the vaccine. Besides, the Indian government will send some Covid vaccines to Bangladesh as gift. We are also in talks with some other countries for vaccine," the minister made the remark in a briefing at Dhaka Reporters' Unity in the capital today.
He also mentioned that 42,000 health workers are being made ready for the vaccination programme.
"The vaccine will be given in hospitals and diagnostic centres as patients might face side effects. The government will bear the expense for treatment if there is any side effect," the minister said.
People will be vaccinated at 300 centres in Dhaka.
Zahid Maleque further said, "Bangladesh is doing better than many developed countries including USA, UK, Germany and Italy in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus."
"We made wearing mask mandatory here in Bangladesh under the slogan of 'no mask, no service', which actually worked well to control the virus spread," the minister added.
"In many developed countries including USA, Germany, Covid-19 patients were treated in tents, whereas we arranged adequate hospitals, beds, ICUs for Covid patients," he added.
Zahid Maleque said, "Initially, hospitals were not treating Covid patients, but we convinced them to do so and no patients remained unattended."
Some private hospitals were found involved in corruptions, legal actions were taken accordingly against many of them including Regent Hospital's Shahed Karim, he told the reporters.
Mentioning that many countries including USA faced medicine crisis during pandemic, the health minister said, "Bangladesh did not face any such problem, rather we are exporting PPEs."