Dhaka seeks medical team, ventilators from China


The foreign ministers of Bangladesh and China in a telephone conversation have discussed the ways of cooperation in the fight against coronavirus outbreak. The foreign ministry said minister Dr AK Abdul Momen sought China’s support with medical expertise and ventilators needed to treat severally ill COVID-19 patients.

He also requested his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to consider deferral of payments against all Back to Back Letter of Credit (LC) opened in favour of Chinese suppliers for one year. 

The Chinese Foreign Minister responded “positively and assured him of their full support to Bangladesh” the foreign ministry said on Wednesday. They discussion took place on Tuesday.

Later on Wednesday in a video conference between the Bangladesh and Chinese experts, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming said a medical team would soon be arriving in Bangladesh to help deal with the current situation. 

The foreign ministry said Dr Momen was pleased to receive a call from the Chinese Foreign Minister and spoke for 45 minutes. The Chinese Foreign Minister reassured Dr Momen and promised to work together to overcome newer challenges.

During the telephonic conversation, Dr Momen told his Chinese counterpart the possibility of bringing an expert team of technicians from China to support ‘Sheikh Russel Gastro-liver Institute and Hospital’ which has been declared a dedicated facility in Dhaka for Coronavirus treatment.

He also discussed the issue of the possibility of accepting Chinese expert medical team comprising of doctors, nurses and technicians to handle Coronavirus patients, treat the Coronavirus infected patients and also provide training to Bangladeshi medical professionals. 

He also discussed the possibility of importing ventilation machines from China during this critical moment of the Coronavirus outbreak in Bangladesh.

While recalling the cordial meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Xi, Dr Momen requested his Chinese counterpart to help early repatriation of Rohignya to Myanmar as promised. At this point, Foreign Minister Wang Yi felt the “urge of early repatriation and assured to extend Chinese support to that end”.

The two Foreign Ministers also reiterated their support for each other in the international arena. The Chinese Foreign Minister expressed gratitude and thanks to the Bangladesh government for its valued contribution of masks, hand sanitizers, hand gloves and other logistics during the critical moments of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan city and other parts of China.

In exchange, Dr Momen expressed gratitude and thanks to the government of China for their contribution of coronavirus testing kits, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and Infrared Thermometer. He also mentioned the contribution of ‘Jack Ma Foundation’ and ‘Alibaba Foundation’.

Dr Momen extended his sincere appreciation to the government of China for taking utmost care of Bangladeshi students in Wuhan and other parts of China in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. 

He expressed Bangladesh's solidarity with the China government for observing 4th April as the national mourning day in China.

The two foreign ministers ended with the ‘good wishes’ for both the countries. Bangladesh confirmed 218 cases as of Wednesday. Of them 20 died.