ASEAN's Dhaka Committee on Wednesday handed over Covid-19 materials – personal protective equipment (PPE) and one ventilator – to Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.
Ambassador of Vietnam and current chair of the ASEAN Dhaka Committee Pham Viet Chien, outgoing chair and Ambassador of Thailand Arunrung Phothong Humphreys and upcoming chair and High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam Haji Haris bin Othman attended the handing-over ceremony.
While receiving the materials, Foreign Secretary Momen thanked the ASEAN Dhaka Committee for its noble gesture, the foreign ministry said in a press release.
He said because of geographical, historical and cultural proximity to each other, people from Bangladesh and the countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) closely intermingle with each other.
"ASEAN countries are gaining importance because of increasing trade, investment, overseas employment and higher studies," the foreign secretary added.
Momen thanked the ASEAN governments for extending their support to the Bangladeshi diaspora during the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.
He mentioned that when all international flights were suspended due to Covid-19, a good number of flights operated between Bangladesh and the South East Asian capitals.
On behalf of the ASEAN troika, the Thai ambassador spoke on the occasion.
She praised the various measures taken by the Bangladesh government to combat the pandemic and expressed the hope that a Covid-19 vaccine would soon be available to the global community.
"The depth of Bangladesh's ties with the ASEAN countries could not be measured by the token items donated today. The bondage is much stronger," she said, adding ASEAN stands ready to support Bangladesh at any natural calamity or difficulty.
On behalf of the Vietnamese community in Bangladesh and the Vietnamese Embassy, Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Viet Chien also separately handed over some surgical masks to the foreign secretary.
The items were later handed over to the representative of the Central Police Hospital, Dhaka.
Additional Foreign Secretary and Covid-19 Coordinator of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr Khalilur Rahman was also present at the handing-over ceremony.