SRI LANKA GROPES WHILST OTHERS MOVE AHEAD

SRI LANKA GROPES WHILST OTHERS MOVE AHEAD

Sri Lanka appears to be left stuck in a rut of sorts when it comes to sorting out a solution to Covid19 namely a vaccine.

Although assurances have been given the wider public will naturally note that in other countries matters have been steaming far ahead in comparison to Sri Lanka almost as though Team Fight Covid 19 Sri Lanka has missed several boats.

Consider the following:

DHAKA, Bangladesh 

Bangladesh will get the first phase of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from an Indian pharmaceutical company by Jan. 25, a Health Ministry official confirmed Monday.

“We will bring 5 million doses of the vaccine this month as the first phase and will distribute it all to the people,” the ministry’s health service director Dr ABM Kurshid Alam told reporters in Dhaka.

The South Asian nation of around 165 million people will get a total of 30 million doses of the Oxford vaccine from the Indian company in six phases, Alam added.

Citing the main concern of people about the safe reach of the vaccine to remote parts of the country, he added: “Members of all law enforcement agencies will ensure full-fledged security.”

The vaccine is to be brought to Bangladesh by the local Beximco Pharmaceuticals company according to a tripartite agreement in December last year with the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer that has been producing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

However, Dhaka is in talks with Germany’s BioNTech SE and the US’s Pfizer Inc. to get more vaccines, and the country is hopeful to get help from the World Health Organization’s global scheme to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries.

Bangladesh is also in contact with a Chinese company to get their vaccines.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency about Chinese vaccines, Alam said Bangladesh’s Health Ministry had recently sent a letter to Chinese company SinoVac Biotech Ltd., which is interested in conducting phase 3 or human trials of COVID-19 vaccines in Bangladesh.

“We are waiting for the reply from the company with details of the trial,” he said, adding that on the basis of the information, the Bangladeshi government would make the final decision.

The coronavirus death tally in Bangladesh reached 7,803 on Monday as 22 new casualties were recorded in the last 24 hours. Total infections surged to 523,302, while 467,718 people have recovered from the disease so far.

SINGAPORE – More than 6,200 people have received their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine since Singapore kicked off its vaccination drive, with eight vaccination centres to be set up by the end of February, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Wednesday (Jan 13).

This includes two centres at Changi Airport Terminal 4 and Raffles City Convention Centre that are already operational, as well as two more at the former Hong Kah Secondary School and Woodlands Galaxy Community Club that will be ready next week.

Another four centres will be ready in February, and more centres will be progressively opened as Singapore expands its vaccination programme, added Mr Gan, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19.

India – Around 3 lakh healthcare workers will be inoculated at 2,934 sites across the country on the first day of the vaccination drive.