The Japanese envoy lauds Bangladesh’s achievements in Covid management
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki has highly appreciated Bangladesh’s achievement in Covid-19 management under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership terming it a “great achievement” and assured of supplying more vaccine doses through Covax in November.
Speaking at an event at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Thursday, he said that they plan to provide vaccine doses further, mainly through Covax, since the need for vaccination goes on.
Naoki also said the two countries will sign an exchange of note to provide budget support focusing on the health sector.
This is the sign of willingness to continue support to Bangladesh as the Covid-19 pandemic is a global crisis, he said, adding: “It’s important that we join hands. Japan will continue to stand by Bangladesh.”
Naoki further said there is another project in the pipeline and hoped that by the end of this year or early next year they will be able to provide support for the ICUs and related facilities.
Expressing satisfaction over the supply of three million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh, the ambassador said those doses were effectively utilized.
He said it is gratifying that the number of infections has been coming down since early September. “Now we’re about to get back to normal lives.”Bangladesh aims to administer Covid-19 vaccines to nearly half of its population by next January. Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said the government is working to vaccinate 80 million people by December and January.
The government on Thursday also started a test run for vaccinating children aged between 12 and 17 years. Bangladesh has already announced a target of vaccinating 80% of its population by 2022.
The Japanese ambassador said his country is the most impactful development partner of Bangladesh and there is no doubt that the two countries have excellent political relations.
“We’ve not seen high-level visits due to Covid pandemic but I’m sure, there’ll be resumption of high-level talks and exchanges,” he added.
On Japan’s contribution to Bangladesh’s large-scale infrastructure development, the envoy said the infrastructure situation will be very different with due transformation in five years’ time.
Ambassador Naoki hoped that the FDI flow from Japan would increase with increased trade volume and the greater presence of Japanese cooperation. “We’ll step up our pragmatic cooperation.”