by our correspondent in Dhaka;-
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has demanded timely and equitable access to the prospective Covid-19 vaccine for all the people in the world battered by the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic .
Hasina made the call while addressing the United Nations General Assembly through a virtual media on Saturday at a time when developed nations are prioritizing their access to the vaccine, being developed by many companies.
“It is imperative to treat the vaccine as a ‘global public good’,” she said hoping that the vaccine would be available soon and it is necessary to ensure timely availability of the vaccine to all countries at the same time.
“The pandemic is a stark reminder that our fates are interconnected and that no one is secured until everyone is secured,” she told the global forum in a pre-recorded speech for the 75th UNGA session.
The virus pandemic, which was began in December last year in China and spread all over the world afterwards, forces the UN to hold its annual assembly of global leaders through the virtual media in New York this year.
The virus infected 32.6 million people with more than 990,000 deaths since December wreaking havoc on global economy that forced many people below the poverty line.
Hasina informed the UNGA about her country’s higher infrastructural capacity of pharmaceutical industry and said Bangladesh could launch mass-scale productions of inoculates if it is provided with the technical know-how and patents.
Researchers are presently testing 42 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and at least 93 preclinical vaccines are under active investigations in animals. But developed countries were placing orders to vaccine makers for early availability of inoculates causing fears it could prolong the pandemic.
The Bangladeshi leader said the way the World War II had prompted countries to join hands to cooperate each other establishing the United Nations, the ongoing pandemic warrants “collective action” in an identical manner under right leadership.
In her 17- minute speech Hasina also mentioned the Rohingya crisis and issues of climate change and migrant workers’ plight due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh’s development campaign, efforts to attain the SDGs and replicable success stories, zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism and violent extremism and commitment to multilateralism and world peace were also featured in her speech.
She reiterated her call to the world community to play a more effective role in solving the protracted Rohingya crisis.
“More than three years have elapsed (but) regrettably, not a single Rohingya could be repatriated” as Bangladesh provided makeshift shelter to over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar people.
She also suggested the solution to be explored in Myanmar as the crisis was created by Myanmar.