Enamul Hafiz Latifee compiles,
High Commissioner, H. E. Smt. Riva Ganguly Das handed over the third tranche of emergency medical assistance consisting of RT-PCR COVID-19 test kits capable of running 30,000 tests to H.E. Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh on 06 May 2020.
It may be recalled that during his telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 29 April 2020, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi ensured India’s readiness to help Bangladesh in containing the spread of COVID-19 and in mitigating the health and economic impact of the pandemic.
High Commissioner conveyed that these RT-PCR test kits are domestically manufactured in India by ‘My Lab Discovery Solutions Private Limited’ and is widely used in India for COVID-19 detection. She stressed that Bangladesh is the first partner country to receive these test kits on priority and that this reflects the importance attached to the bilateral relationship by India. In line with India’s Neighborhood First policy and with a view to taking a collaborative regional approach to contain the spread of COVID-19, it may be recalled that Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi took the initiative to hold a video conference with leaders of other SAARC Countries on 15 March 2020.
Recalling the time-tested friendship between the two countries, H.E. Dr. A K Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh appreciated India’s help for the three tranches of assistance following the outbreak of the pandemic. He added that the testing kits will further step up the number of tests in Bangladesh which is the need of the hour.
This assistance which is covered under the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund is intended to support the efforts of Government of Bangladesh in tackling the spread of COVID19. These test kits which are available for immediate use will assist Government of Bangladesh in their objective of performing extensive testing. The RT-PCR test kits were dispatched to Institute of Epidemiological Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Government of Bangladesh. The test kits were brought to Bangladesh in an Indigo flight and dispatched to IEDCR, all under requisite cold storage requirements.
Regarding the handover of medical supplies, the High Commission of India, Dhaka has posted a message on Facebook today,-
Committed to combating #Covid19 togetherHigh Commissioner Smt. Riva Ganguly Das handed over 3rd tranche of assistance…
The SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund was announced by Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi and was setup with an initial contribution of US$ 10 million from India. The first tranche of emergency medical assistance under this fund containing 30,000 surgical masks and 15,000 head caps was handed over on 25 March 2020 and the second tranche consisting of 50,000 sterile surgical latex gloves and 1,00,000 Hydroxychloroquine medicine tablets were handed over to Government of Bangladesh on 26 April 2020.
India has also come forward to help the medical professional of SAARC countries by conducting online courses under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) framework. Two such e-ITEC courses have been conducted by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Raipur & Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India on 17-21 April 2020 and 27 April-06 May 2020 respectively. Over 150 health professionals from Bangladesh have benefitted from these courses.
Presently, registrations are being accepted for an e-ITEC course designed especially for Bangladesh and to be conducted in the Bengali language by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar. The online course will be conducted from 12 to 13 May 2020.