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Bangladesh to provide India, Nepal, Afghanistan with Remdesivir, protection equipment

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The government has decided to give Remdesivir and protection equipment to India, Nepal and Afghanistan following requests by the countries to Bangladesh to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic there.

India and Nepal made the requests to the foreign ministry of Bangladesh through the Bangladesh high commissioner and ambassador there to have the medicine, personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitiser and floor cleaner sent to the countries.

The Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) has also requested Bangladesh to provide the necessary medicine and equipment to Afghanistan to combat the Covid-19 pandemic there.

The foreign ministry has sought permission from the commerce ministry and the health ministry to send the medicine and equipment to those countries under the Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Covid-19 Emergency Fund.

Sheikh Kaushik Iqbal, assistant secretary (Saarc) of the foreign ministry and member of the Saarc Covid-19 Emergency Fund's purchase committee, said, "Bangladesh has donated $1.5 million to the Saarc fund. The medicine and protection equipment will be purchased using the fund and sent to the countries."

According to the proposal of the foreign ministry, 1,000 pieces of Remdesivir injection will be sent to India while Nepal and Afghanistan will get 500 pieces each of the injection. Besides, each of the countries will get 2,000 pieces of PPE. Furthermore, preparation is going on for sending 15,000 bottles (of 200 milliliters each) of hand sanitiser to India and 5,000 bottles each to Nepal and to Afghanistan.

India will get 2,000 bottles of floor cleaner while Nepal and Afghanistan will get 1,000 bottles of floor cleaner each. Each bottle will contain 5,000ml of floor cleaner.

An official of the export wing at the commerce ministry told The Business Standard that approval of the foreign ministry's proposal was being processed.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd and International Knitwear and Apparels of the Beximco Group will supply Remdesivir and PPE.

Square Toiletries Ltd will provide the hand sanitiser and ACI Consumer Brands will supply the floor cleaner.

Quamrul Hassan, business director of ACI Consumer Brands, said, "Floor cleaners will be sent to India, Nepal and Afghanistan as per the request of the foreign ministry. The government will buy the item using the Saarc fund and send it to the countries as a grant."