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BD to procure oxygen tools from US: FM

0.5m Chinese doses by May 12

MIR MOSTAFIZUR RAHAMAN | May 04, 2021 00:00:00

Bangladesh is trying to procure equipment for ventilation and manufacturing oxygen from countries like the US and Germany.

Bangladesh also requested the US recently for providing vaccines from its surplus stock, officials told the FE.

"We came to know that the US has a surplus stock of 60 million AstraZeneca vaccines. We have requested them to give us some from the stock," Foreign Minister (FM) Dr A K Abdul Momen said.

"They are yet to give any response. But the US ambassador here told us that the country is willing to provide us some medical assistance including oxygen cylinders."

"We are planning to procure oxygen equipment from the US and Germany."

The equipment will be used for ventilation and manufacturing medical oxygen, the minister added.

"At present there is no oxygen supply shortage in our hospitals. But if the Covid situation worsens here, like India, we will need additional oxygen, and that is why we are planning to ensure that supply."

The local oxygen manufacturers have been asked to switch to medical oxygen production instead of producing industrial oxygen for some time.

Officials also said Bangladesh is expecting to receive vaccines from China on May 10-12.

The foreign minister said China is working hard to provide 500,000 doses of vaccine as gift to Bangladesh.

"Now there are holidays in China. Despite that the people concerned are working to ensure the vaccine supply."

"We will also receive vaccines from Russia soon," the minister said, adding that both Russia and China agreed to go for coproduction of Covid vaccines with Bangladeshi companies.

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