Sep 05, 2020


Govt allows trial of China vaccine, Beximco Pharma ties up with Indian firm

The government has given approval to the phase 3, or human, trial of a Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh, developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) will provide logistical support in conducting the trial in the country. Moreover, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, one of the leading drugmakers of the country, announced yesterday it will invest with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to ensure Bangladesh receives Covid-19 vaccine on a priority basis, once approved by the regulator.

WHO praises Bangladesh’s Covid response

World Health Organization Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has lauded the ongoing activities and various initiatives taken by the government of Bangladesh led by Honourable Prime Minsiter (HPM) Sheikh Hasina to control COVID-19. He also thanked Bangladesh for its support and cooperation to the World Health Organization in tackling this global pandemic. He praised the government of Bangladesh, in particular, for its effective role in controlling the spread of coronavirus in populated Rohingya camps. He made those comments when Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva Ambassador M. Shameem Ahsan paid a farewell meeting with him recently.

Corona recovery rate nears 63% in Bangladesh

Coronavirus recovery case is rising day by day across the country, including in Dhaka, as the recovery rate has stood at around 63%. Some 3,427 more Covid-19 patients have made recovery from the disease in the last 24 hours till 8:00am on Wednesday, raising the total number of recovered cases over 2,00,000. A total of 14,835 samples, out of 15,070 collected, were tested at 92 labs in the country in the last 24 hours while 20.34% of the samples have been diagnosed with coronavirus and the current case detection rate stands at 16.72%.

Forex reserves hit record $39.4 billion

The country’s foreign exchange reserves exceeded the $39 billion-mark for the first time on Tuesday, thanks to a prudent economic policy put in place by the Awami League government led by HPM Sheikh Hasina. The reserves recorded at $39.4 billion are equivalent to about 10 months of import payments with $4 billion a month. The new reserve milestone was largely attributed to the increasing remittances and export earnings and boosted by the injection of $300 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), according to media reports. In addition, factors such as lower import payment, strong remittance inflow, foreign loan and aid have contributed to pushing up foreign currency reserves in recent months.

Bangladesh still among top sourcing destinations

Bangladesh remains one of the top sourcing destinations after China for international clothing retailers and brands even during the coronavirus pandemic because of its competitive prices, according to a new report by leading supply chain compliance solutions provider QIMA. After Vietnam, India and Bangladesh, alternative sourcing options of choice are still largely countries. The survey named "Evolution of Sourcing in 2020" was conducted in July 2020 by Hong Kong-based QIMA. It is said to be drawn on input from more than 200 businesses around the world across a variety of consumer product segments and built on previous QIMA research. Between 1 and 22 August, garment export from Bangladesh increased 45.8% year-on-year to $2.4 billion, according to data from BGMEA.

Bangladesh receives $1.96 billion remittance in August

Expatriate Bangladeshis sent around US$1,963.94 million remittance during the month of August in the fiscal 2020-21 which is the second highest in the country’s history, according to the latest data of Bangladesh Bank (BB). Earlier, the monthly inflow of remittance hit an all-time high in July this year, which was $2,598.21 million. On the other hand, the expatriates have sent $7.91 million through the foreign commercial banks. The government’s initiative of issuing a 2% cash incentive against inward remittance had also played a vital role for the surge in remittance inflow. Besides, the expansion of agent banking in suburban areas has encouraged migrant workers to send money through the formal channel as the beneficiaries receive the funds very quickly.

Elderly, differently abled and widows to get safety net allowances through MFS

The government plans to disburse social safety net allowances among elderly, disabled and widows through mobile financial services -- a move that can help the country reach the targeted beneficiaries, ensure value for money and prevent misuse. The Department of Social Services under the social welfare ministry, which runs the country's largest social safety net programmes, has decided as part of its move to digitalise disbursement. Under the move, it would initiate a move on pilot basis involving 13,845 beneficiaries alongside the disbursement through the government-to-person system will help avoid third-party involvement.

Bangladesh’s climate adaptation effort lauded

British International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith has made a virtual visit to Bangladesh and discussed the need for the UK “to help the country build adaptation and resilience to climate change”. During his visit, the British High Commission, said he also met Saima Wazed Hossain, one of the newly appointed Thematic Ambassadors of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) with a focus on ‘vulnerability’. He discussed ways in which nature-based solutions – working with, rather than against, nature – can help overcome these challenges.

Govt rolls out project to protect coastal areas

The government is constructing 139 polders in the coastal belt to protect the areas from tidal surges and floods. The construction work of 10 polders has already started in the first phase. Some 39 polders will be constructed in the next five year and the remaining ones in phases. Once the construction of the polders is complete, the damage caused by floods and tidal surges will be reduced and the coastal people will be benefited.

Bangladesh to give 50,000 tonnes fertilisers to Nepal

HPM Sheikh Hasina has recently said Bangladesh would provide 50,000 tonnes of fertilizer to Nepal responding to a call by her Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli as the landlocked country was exposed to a critical shortage of the crucial agriculture input. Talks between the two premiers lasted for 20 minutes when HPM Sheikh Hasina also assured her counterpart of providing rail transit to Nepal. The Nepalese premier expressed gratitude to HPM Sheikh Hasina in this regard. Moreover, they hoped that the preferential trade agreement (PTA) between the two counties would be signed to boost trade and commerce.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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