Bangladesh receives Chinese Covid jabs

Bangladesh on Wednesday received a batch of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine donated by China.

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming formally handed over the vaccines to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque at a ceremony at the State Guest House Padma in Dhaka.

A special aircraft of the Bangladesh Air Force returned from Beijing with the vaccines and AD syringes early on Wednesday.

On the occasion, Foreign Minister Momen and Health Minister Maleque both thanked China for donating the vaccine to Bangladesh, according to Xinhua news agency.

Maleque said the vaccines arrived at a time when Bangladesh is in dire need of vaccines. "A friend in need is a friend indeed," he said.

For his part, Ambassador Li said the donation is "a real action taken by the Chinese government to honor the promise of making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good."

Bangladesh kicked off the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Jan. 28 to rein in the pandemic that has so far spread across the country.

The country's drug regulator in April authorized the emergency use of the Sinopharm vaccines.

The Bangladeshi government has also given the green light to a proposal of producing Chinese COVID-19 vaccines in the country.