Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 4 December: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that Bangladesh has the capacity and is ready to produce vaccine if the country is given the opportunity.
She considers that the World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative of ACT and COVAX facility can play a vital role in this regard, says a press release on the occasion of the 31st Special Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The prime minister said developed countries should commit to technology transfer for the local manufacturing of vaccines in developing countries using IP rights waiver under the TRIPS Agreement.
She also stressed that the challenges faced by the developing countries in the context of Covid-19, including financial assistance, should be specifically recognised. The UN, IFIs, civil society alongside the national governments must do their share and actively cooperate with each other to combat Covid-19.
She emphasised most on the fact to ensure universal, equitable, timely and affordable access to quality vaccines.
“The 2030 development agenda recognised the fundamental role of Universal Health Coverage for achieving the SDGs guided by the principle of equity. In the same spirit, when it comes to access to vaccines, no one should be left behind,” she said.
Describing the steps taken against the pandemic, she said, “We intervened early and effectively, and took bold actions to protect our economy and people from the fallouts of the pandemic. My government has announced stimulus packages worth $14.14 billion which is equivalent to 4.3% of our GDP to minimise the impacts on our business, employment and productivity.”
“We have expanded social safety-net coverage providing assistance to more than 25 million people since the detection of the virus in early March. Extensive measures are put in place to contain the second wave of the pandemic,” she added.