Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 12 February : Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Friday said they are now in close discussion with Bangladesh over coronavirus vaccine assistance.
‘China just announced to provide 10 million COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries through the COVAX initiative,’ he said in a video message marking the Chinese New Year, wishing a New Year with less coronavirus and more prosperity.
Ambassador Jiming said the Chinese New Year is widely celebrated around the world. ‘The charm of this ancient festival transcends borders and races. So, join us to welcome a joyful ‘niu’ year.’
He said the Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China and this year marks the year of the ox or cow. ‘So, happy New Year!’
‘Mind you, when I say ‘new’, I actually mean ‘niu’, the Chinese word for ox or cow, which happens to have the same pronunciation as the English word new,’ he said.
Ox or cow is generally perceived as an animal that’s hard working, tough and reliable, which are some very useful traits in a prolonged pandemic.
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‘And here is an interesting fact: the world’s first vaccine was made with virus from cows,’ said the Ambassador.
Then in this year of the cow, vaccines again come to the rescue, he said adding that maybe this little coincidence foretells a good year with less coronavirus and more prosperity.
Bangladesh launched a massive countrywide vaccination drive on Feb 7.
he government procured five million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India last month.
India also gifted two million doses of the vaccine.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina last week ordered reducing the age limit from 55 years to 40 to get registered for vaccination to expand and accelerate the drive.