Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has placed emphasis on ensuring a universal, equitable, timely and affordable access to quality vaccines to defeat the novel coronavirus pandemic, save lives and accelerate economic recovery.
Covid-19 can never be brought under control in one place unless it is brought under control everywhere, she has said, adding that the global community must pay urgent attention to and extend collaboration in this "priority area".
"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 the access to vaccines, no one should be left behind," the premier has said in her statement on the 31st Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a press release.
Calling upon developed countries to commit to technology transfer for the local manufacturing of vaccines in developing countries using IP rights waiver under the TRIPS Agreement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has the capacity and is ready to produce vaccines if the country is given the opportunity.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative of ACT and COVAX facility can play a vital role in this regard, she continued.
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.
Describing the steps taken by her government 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.