Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming has said China is ready to help Bangladesh with more medical supplies, including medical oxygen, if the situation gets worse as it is facing the second wave of Covid-19.
"China is ready to offer more, if needed," he said, recalling how Bangladesh and China helped each other in dealing with the first wave of Covid-19.
Ambassador Li said they will do whatever they can during the second wave of Covid-19 in Bangladesh.
He said this pandemic unseen in a century is a global challenge, and past experience keeps reminding them that only through cooperation within the international community they can embrace victory.
"Bangladesh has done what it can to fight the pandemic, and it's my strong conviction that with the joint efforts of the people of Bangladesh and government, and the help of the international community, Bangladesh's V-Day over Covid-19 will be just around the corner," said the Chinese Ambassador.
He made the remarks during a virtual programme organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) on Monday. DCAB President Pantho Rahaman and its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke at the event.
The Ambassador said it is believed that the safe and reliable Chinese vaccine will play a positive role in the construction of Bangladesh's anti-epidemic defence line, help the people of Bangladesh to overcome the epidemic, and continue the friendship story between the two countries.
He said, "The virus respects no boundary, and we're all in this together. Solidarity and cooperation are our most powerful weapon in this war."
The envoy said China hopes all parties will take real action, provide more vaccines to developing countries, including Bangladesh, and contribute to the equitable distribution and application of vaccines across the world so that we can defeat the virus at an early date.
Some 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines gifted by the Chinese government to Bangladesh will arrive in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Ambassador Li said it is a concrete step towards honoring President Xi Jinping's pledge of making Covid-19 vaccines a global public good, a solid action taken by both sides towards building a community with a shared future for mankind, and a powerful measure to implement the consensus reached in the recent virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers of China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Covid-19.
This vaccine gift (Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine) is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group.
The World Health Organization (WHO) listed the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for this vaccine to be rolled out globally. The Sinopharm product is an inactivated vaccine called SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell).
He said its efficacy for symptomatic and hospitalised disease was estimated to be over 79%, all age groups combined and its easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings.
The envoy said it is also the first vaccine that will carry a vaccine vial monitor, a small sticker on the vaccine vials that change color as the vaccine is exposed to heat, letting health workers know whether the vaccine can be safely used.
Last year, at China's most trying moments, Bangladesh was among the first countries to donate medical supplies to China in a great act of valuable support.
When the epidemic situation in China eased, China supported Bangladesh's fight against the virus through various means including gifting medical supplies and sending medical experts.
China offered to gift vaccines to Bangladesh in February but the Embassy did not get the EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) from the government of Bangladesh until April 30.
Though facing difficulties of huge domestic demand and a tight supply of international market, China decided to give priority to ensuring that the vaccines arrive in Bangladesh as soon as possible, said the Ambassador.
He said although it was the May Day holiday in China (five days), many Chinese workers worked overtime and sacrificed personal rest time to rush out these vaccines in less than two weeks.
The Ambassador said it is under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and with the great spirit of fighting the pandemic that they are able to conquer the virus.
The year 2021 marks the birth centenary of the CPC which, in the days to come, will continue leading the Chinese people to work relentlessly to fight the pandemic, promote global economic recovery and defend peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom which are shared values of humanity, he said.