Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said all branches of government concerned are working to bring the Covid-19 vaccine to the country.
He said the prime minister was continuously looking into the matter as vaccine discovery was now at an advanced level in the world.
The minister also said, "Countries around the world–including the United Kingdom, China, Russia, the United States, and India–are in the final stages of developing vaccines, so the prime minister will make the right decision at the right time by checking and selecting the quality of these vaccines. "
The minister stated this at a handover ceremony of medical equipment to combat Covid-19 organised by the Taiwan External Trade Development Center in collaboration with Walton.
The ceremony took place in the conference room of the Ministry of Health at the Bangladesh Secretariat today at noon.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar also spoke on occasion.
When asked about rapid tests, the health minister said, "There are three types of tests for the [novel] coronavirus at present. These are the PCR test, antigen test and rapid antibody test. There is no plan to test rapid antibody at the moment."
He said initiatives to conduct antigen tests at government labs alongside PCR tests were underway.
The minister expressed that Bangladesh has been successfully tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. "Bangladesh, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, took appropriate steps when the first infection was reported on March 8," he said.
"Timely screenings were arranged at the country's air, sea and land ports. At that time, we did not have enough medical supplies, so we started dealing with this pandemic in a planned way," said Maleque.
He also said the number of Covid-19 patients was less in specialised hospitals that were arranged for proper treatment as 60-70 percent of beds were vacant.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the media had been playing an important role from the beginning to raise awareness and hoped they would continue to do so.
The minister also said Walton has been assisting the government with healthcare and that the cooperation of Taiwan will be useful for Bangladesh.
The Taiwan External Trade Development Center handed over: one lakh surgical masks, 1600 N-95 masks, 20,000 cloth masks, 10,000 face fields, 500 PPE units, 200 sets of goggles, and two sets of ventilators to the Ministry of Health.
Expressing sincere gratitude to frontline health workers, Mustafa Jabbar said that amid the pandemic the Posts and Telecommunications division has stood by the Ministry of Health to the best of its ability.
"I am trying to make life dynamic by creating opportunities to ensure uninterrupted service at the call center, and with the telemedicine system, plus by continuing telecommunications and internet," he added.
Under the direction of Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed, ICT Advisor to the Prime Minister, a revolutionary change in digitalisation has been initiated.
"Today with more than 100 million users 2100 Gbps internet is being used in the country," added the posts and telecommunications minister.
Commerce Secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin, Health Secretary Md Abdul Mannan and Md Nur-Ur-Rahman, the posts and telecommunications secretary spoke on occasion.
Liaquat Ali, executive director and head of IT Department at Walton, Tithimi WD So, director, Taiwan External Trade Development Center, Dhaka, and Ranjan Chakraborty, Manager were also present among others.