Two flights of Bangladesh’s national flag carrier reached the capital Dhaka Sunday evening with 600,000 doses of Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine donated in a sign of friendship, according to official sources.
A top foreign investor in Bangladesh, China on May 12 gave Dhaka 500,000 doses.
Bangladesh received the second shipment at a time when the country is going through a critical phase of its nationwide inoculation campaign due to a vaccine shortage.
Hualong Yan, deputy chief of mission at the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka, Sunday morning confirmed on social media that the second shipment is on its way to Bangladesh.
In a statement, Bangladesh’s military’s mouthpiece, Inter Services Public Relations, also confirmed receiving the Chinese vaccines.
The South Asian delta nation of 165 million people started its nationwide vaccination program on Feb. 7 with the Covishield and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
But on April 25, the government had to suspend the vaccination campaign a day after India stopped exporting the vaccine due to an unprecedented surge in cases and deaths there.
Though Bangladesh signed a deal with India on Dec. 13, 2020 to purchase 30 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in installments, the country received just 7 million doses in two installments. However, India gave Bangladesh 3.2 million doses.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Sunday recorded 47 deaths in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day toll in a month, taking the COVID-19 casualties to 13,118.
With 2,436 new infections, the number of total cases surged to 826,922.
Bangladesh has so far inoculated over 10 million people.
Meanwhile, the country extended the ongoing border lockdown with India for another two weeks, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen told Anadolu Agency after an inter-ministerial meeting.
Bangladesh shut its border with its closest neighbor on April 26 and later extended the shutdown several times.