Bangladesh first to get benefit of SAARC coronavirus fund


Bangladesh has received a set of medical logistics from India to be the first country to get benefit from the SAARC emergency fund to fight off coronavirus.

Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Riva Ganguly Das handed over 30,000 surgical masks and 15,000 head cover for doctors to Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday to what the High Commission said ‘take forward India’s commitment to the region’.
The assistance, also part of India’s neighborhood first policy, is intended to support the efforts of government of Bangladesh in tackling the spread of Covid-19, the High Commission said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with leaders of other SAARC countries held a video conference on March 15 with a view to taking a collaborative regional approach to containing the spread of Covid-19.
Modi also set up a SAARC fund with initial contribution of $10million by India.

Following that, other SAARC countries except Pakistan announced their contribution. Bangladesh announced $1.5 million.
“This tranche of assistance is an initial emergency supply under the Covid19 Emergency Fund announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and setup with an initial contribution of 10 Million USD by India,” read the High Commission’s statement.

Preparations are also underway to conduct video conferences between medical professionals and other stakeholders in India and Bangladesh for considering specific measures and exchanging best practices.

“As a friend and neighbor, India is ready to stand with Bangladesh in times of challenge. Working together, India, Bangladesh and other SAARC Countries can overcome the extraordinary situation created by the spread of Covid19,” read the statement.
Bangladesh confirmed 39 COVID-19 patients. Five of them died.