June 28, 2022, 12:16 am

Diplomatic correspondent

2021-09-23 08:43:22 BdST

PM calls for declaring Covid-19 vaccine 'global public goods'

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called for declaring the Covid-19 vaccine as a “global public goods” as she joined a summit on Covid-19 in the US presidential palace, White House.

“For effective global vaccination, COVID-19 vaccines need to be declared as “global public goods”, she said.

She added: “To guarantee universal access, local production of vaccines by developing countries and LDCs (Least Development Countries) which have the capacity must be allowed.”

A pre-recorded statement was broadcast the “Covid-19 White House Global Covid-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better”.

US president Joe Biden convened the virtual summit this morning (local time: 11:00 am).

Speaking at the summit, Biden called on chiefs of state, heads of government and international organizations, business, philanthropic, and non-government leaders to come together for ending the Covid-19 pandemic.

German chancellor Angela Markel, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Indonesian president Zoko Widodo, African president Cyril Ramaphosa, and the United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres, among others, spoke on the occasion.

Follow-up events slated for later this year and early 2022 are intended to hold participants accountable for their commitments, the White House told invitees.

Sheikh Hasina also said her government has adopted a three-fold approach to fight the Covid-19 pandemic being the first one with saving lives by allocating adequate medical facilities, equipment, life saving drugs and resources.

“The approach also included supporting livelihoods of our citizens, especially the most vulnerable groups and recovering economic activities back on track as quickly as possible,” she said.

The PM also said that to build forward better, Bangladesh is firstly focusing on inclusive growth policies with focus on improved healthcare system and social safety net programmes.

Sheikh Hasina said the government secondly working for sustainable economic recovery putting emphasis on innovation, job creation and investment.

And thirdly, the government is focusing on climate resilience and transition to low-carbon development.

About the government’s initiatives to fight Covid-19 pandemic, she said, “So far we have allocated 15.4 billion dollars stimulus packages, disbursed 166 million dollars to 4.4 million beneficiaries, including poor elderly, widows, disabled persons, and informal sector workers.”

As of 14 September, she said that they have administered more than 35 million shots of vaccine.

She continued: “We are planning to vaccinate 20 million people per month until 80 per cent of our population is inoculated by August 2022.”

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