Bangladesh received first ever Covid vaccine consignment on Thursday as India sent 20 million doses of inoculate as gift as part of their neighborhood plus policy.
A chartered Air India plane, carrying the jabs of Covishield, the coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India, landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Thursday.
Later, Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami handed over the vaccines formally to foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and health minister Zahid Maleque at a ceremony at state guest house Padma in the capital.
“The gift comes as per our commitment to our neighbouring country,” said Doraiswami at the ceremony.
The envoy said Bangladesh got the vaccine almost simultaneously with India. “The vaccine was released in India on Saturday and we sent it here (Bangladesh) on Thursday, it is only four days (Bangladesh gets the vaccine after India),” he added.
The foreign minister thanked New Delhi for the gift and said India remains beside Bangladesh in this pandemic as like they had supported during the country’s War of Liberation in 1971.
“This gift is an instance of good will that honourable Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian premier Narandra Modi have achieved through building strong partnership between the two neighbouring countries,” he said.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam also spoke at the function.
Earlier, Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar tweeted on “VaccineMaitri”, saying India reaffirms the highest priority accorded by India to relations with Bangladesh.