The coronavirus pandemic has severely hurt Bangladesh's exports to Europe and the United States, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen in a video message on Tuesday.
Referring to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association's data, Momen said exports worth $2 billion have already halted and several lakhs of workers have been facing joblessness.
In the video message, the foreign minister also said, "The coronavirus situation might hinder the country's remittance inflow. The government has informed the European Union, the United States, and G-77 to find a way out of this special situation."
Momen said the demand for medical equipment has increased in all countries because of the coronavirus situation. Some countries, including the US, have requested Bangladesh to supply this equipment to them.
"Our businessmen have taken these requests into consideration. Our manufacturers are trying to produce the equipment," he added.
The Chinese government will send 10,000 testing kits, 10,000 gowns, 1,000 infrared thermometers on March 26 in the form of donation. Two days later, China will also give 15,000 N95 respirator masks, said Momen.
The minister also said that some other countries may export medical equipment to Bangladesh. The National Board of Revenue has already issued a Statutory Regulatory Order in this regard so that importers can take delivery of these equipment quickly.
Regarding the Bangladeshi expatriates, Momen said the authority concerned has requested related governments about taking special care of them. The foreign minister has talked with his counterparts in several other countries in this regard.