The government will provide 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine free of cost
Dhaka, December 1: To curb the spread of Covid-19, the government will take a tougher stance on the use of masks and provide 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the public free of cost.
Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam told a press briefing after the cabinet meeting at the Secretariat on Monday afternoon.
"According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) guidelines on distribution, the 30 million doses of vaccine that will be collected initially will be made available to people free of charge," he said.
Earlier in the morning, a regular cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Prime Minister participated in the virtual meeting via video conference from Ganobhaban.
The secretary said the healthcare department informed the cabinet about the latest progress in coping with Covid-19 second wave and procurement of vaccines.
He said the Prime Minister had approved a proposal to sell 30 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India to the Bangladesh government on October 14 as part of the government's procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine.
"A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Serum Institute of India and Beximco Pharmaceuticals on November 5 with the Department of Health Services," he said. According to the agreement, the Serum Institute will provide 30 million doses of vaccine to Bangladesh.
The secretary said that on November 18, the finance department had allocated Tk 735.775 crore to the health department for the purchase of vaccines. A proposal has also been sent to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Procurement to buy the vaccine.
"Even though the draft of the purchase agreement has been prepared, the price of each dose of vaccine cannot be stated until the agreement is executed," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, the cabinet has approved the draft of 'National Emergency Services 999 Policy, 2020'. According to the policy, giving false, fabricated, rumored and misleading information by calling the emergency service hotline number 999 will be punished.
According to the policy, a unit called National Emergency Service 999 will be set up in the security department of the home ministry, the cabinet secretary said, adding that "at least one officer with DIG rank will be appointed as the head of National Emergency Service 999."
Besides, the Cabinet was apprised of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 and the five strategies prepared by the Department of Information and Communication Technology on the advancement of Information and Communication Technology, the Cabinet Secretary said.