Bangladesh sends second consignment of medicines to India

It consists of antibiotics, paracetamol, injection vials, hand sanitisers among others

May 18, 2021 10:41 pm | Updated 10:41 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A technician collecting samples for COVID-19 in Delhi on May 18, 2021.

A technician collecting samples for COVID-19 in Delhi on May 18, 2021.

Bangladesh sent a large consignment of medicines and protective gears to India on Tuesday. This is the second consignment of assistance from Dhaka since India opened up for foreign assistance to deal with the second wave of COVID-19.

The delivery took place as Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen called External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and urged him to push the United States to supply vaccines to Dhaka.

Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Kolkata Towfique Hasan handed over 2,672 boxes of medicines and personal protective items to the Representative of Indian Red Cross Society at Petrapole at the Indo-Bangladesh border. The consignment consists of antibiotics, paracetamol, injection vials and hand sanitisers among other things and came in four large vans.

The consignment which was handled by the Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh was produced mainly by the public sector run Essential Drugs Co Ltd. The first consignment from Bangladesh was sent on May 6 and consisted of 10,000 vials of antiviral injection Remdesivir produced by Beximco, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has also sent Remdesivir injections, Hydroxychloroquine and protective gears to Nepal, as the Himalayan country faces a tough challenge from increasing COVID-19 cases. The fist consignment of the medicines was sent last year and the second consignment was handed over to Nepal's ambassador to Dhaka by Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen last week.

Bangladesh was one of the first countries to join hands with India during March-April 2020 to tackle the pandemic. The country began to source Covishield vaccine doses from Serum Institute of India, but is currently in talks with China, U.S., Canada and others to procure new rounds of vaccines as SII is focused on addressing India’s growing domestic demand for vaccines.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday evening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh announced that Foreign Minister Dr. Momen had urged Dr. Jaishankar to push the United States to deliver AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Bangladesh. The official statement from Dhaka said the Indian Minister has assured the country of his cooperation. The discussion took place hours after President Joe Biden announced that the United States would send vaccines abroad.

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