Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Wednesday said the drive to administer Covid-19 booster doses will in next seven to ten days.
“Currently, we have 4.5 crore doses of vaccine in stock, and the drive to inoculate booster doses can be started within seven to ten days,” he said at a programme while receiving 80 lakh doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Japan and UK through the global COVAX facility.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson handed over the donations to the health minister at State Guest House Padma.
Maleque said “Japan is a close friend of Bangladesh since the Liberation War while the British government stands by Bangladesh in any crisis of the country. So, the vaccine doses received from the two countries will strengthen us to fight Covid-19.”
So far, three cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected in the country and all of them have been put under quarantine, he said adding “They are doing well and undergoing treatment.”
He also urged the people to abide by the health guidelines and get Covid jabs.
On Sunday, the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 recommended booster shots to the citizens above 60 and frontliners.
The senior citizens and frontliners who got the two doses of vaccine six months ago will get the booster dose, the NTAC recommended at a meeting.
It also suggested all to take steps to limit public gatherings, meetings and rallies to contain the spread of Omicron.
On December 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Omicron is now present in 57 countries and asked all countries to stay alert about the new variant.
A WHO panel named the Coronavirus variant ‘Omicron’ and classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern, the same category that includes the predominant delta variant, which is still a scourge driving higher cases of sickness and death in Europe and parts of the USA.
Amid the growing concern over the new ‘Omicron’ variant of coronavirus, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) suggested the implementation of 15 instructions to prevent the spread of the new variant and urged all concerned to take measures to enforce the instructions.
After Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Bangladesh on January 27, the health ministry rolled out the inoculation drive at five government hospitals in Dhaka on January 28.