Covid-19 vaccines: India assures Bangladesh of high priority in supplies

India had assured Bangladesh that it will be given high priority in the supply of Covid-19 vaccines once they are ready and the government is glad to note that private enterprises from both sides are working together to take this ahead, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava has said.

India’s connectivity with Bangladesh through inland waterways has also got a shot in the arm with the beginning of a trial run of the Sonamura-Daukandi route connecting Tripura with the National Waterways of India through Bangladesh, Srivastava pointed out at the weekly media briefing on Thursday.

On the possibility of holding the Quad Ministerial meeting between India, Australia, US and Japan, and the US-India 2+2 Ministerial dialogue later this year, the spokesperson said that India was looking forward to the meetings and the details were being worked out.

“The Covid-19 situation was discussed between India and Bangladesh during the Foreign Secretary’s visit (recently). India assured Bangladesh that as close neighbour and strategic partner it will be given high priority in the supply of vaccines once they are ready. Regarding the tie-up (between Bangladesh’s Beiximco and Serum Institute of India), we are glad to note that private enterprises from both sides are working together towards this end,” he said.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals from Bangladesh signed a deal with the Serum Institute of India (SII) last week for priority access to Covid-19 vaccines being developed by the Indian company. The company said it was ready to hold trials of candidate vaccines being developed by India.

On the expansion of the Protocol for Inland Water Trade & Transit , signed between India and Bangladesh in 1972 to provide inland waterways connectivity between the two countries, Srivastava said it was much needed during the Covid-19 times.

“Enhanced connectivity through inland waterways in the present Covid–19 scenario will provide an economical, faster, safer and cleaner mode of transportation for traders and business communities of both countries,” he said.

The trial run of the Sonamura — Daukandi route which commenced from Daukandion would conclude at Sonamura on September 05, 2020 in the presence of chief minister of Tripura and India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh. “This is yet another recent connectivity initiative with Bangladesh, which will greatly enhance connectivity with our North-Eastern region and boost bilateral trade with Bangladesh,” Srivastava said.

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