The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has again requested the health ministry to provide vaccines for ready-made garment (RMG) workers as new vaccines from different countries have arrived in the country.
The association sent a letter to the Health Services Division on Monday requesting that local workers as well as foreigners working in the sector be vaccinated.
The organisation had been requesting the government to bring garment workers under vaccination on a priority basis, considering them frontliners, before the vaccination programme started in the country on 27 January this year.
Recently, the new board of the BGMEA, headed by Faruque Hassan, the president of the organisation, met the health minister and requested that workers be vaccinated on a priority basis.
According to sources, the minister assured that the vaccine would be provided prioritising workers in the sector if the supply of vaccine was sufficient.
Inoculations programme in Bangladesh was closed due to a shortage of vaccines. As vaccinations have started arriving again from different countries, new vaccinations have already started.
Confirming the authenticity of the letter, BGMEA Vice President Md Shahidullah Azim told The Business Standard, "We have requested the government to give priority to vaccinating workers in this sector as new vaccines are available. We have sought vaccinations for 39 lakh workers and 800 foreign officials in the sector."
It was said in the letter that since the inception of the pandemic, workers in the sector, as well as foreign staff, have been running factories at the risk of their lives. Many of them have been infected with the virus. In the interest of the country's economy, it is necessary to provide health protection to the workers working in this industry.