October 19, 2021, 1:15 pm

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Bangladesh to get vaccine for 4.5cr people within May: Cabinet Secretary

Dhaka: Bangladesh would get Covid-19 vaccine for a total of 4.5 crore people within May or June.

“Three crore doses of vaccine for 1.5 crore people will arrive in the country at the end of January or first week of February while another six crore doses for 3 crore people within May or June,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said a media briefing emerging from the weekly cabinet meeting here today.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the meeting virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban while her cabinet colleagues attended the meeting at the conference room of the cabinet division in the secretariat.

“Training for vaccination has been started . . . EPI vaccination chain will be engaged massively for this job,” he said.

Replying to a query, the cabinet secretary said they are now only thinking about Oxford vaccine but the government would not say no to any vaccine which would attain WHO approval. “Our technical committee would approve the vaccine,” he added.

Anwarul said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina again laid emphasis on wearing facemasks. “She (Prime Minister) directed to implement ‘no mask, no service’ policy strictly at all offices,” he added.

In addition, the premier also directed the authorities concerned to go ahead with stern action further to ensure social distancing in the country to stop the spread of Coronavirus, he continued.

The Cabinet meeting approved the draft of Bangladesh Agricultural Good Practices Policy, 2020 in order to ensure the safe and quality agricultural products by applying good practices in the entire production-to-consumption chain.

The policy was brought to exercise the good practices in all stages including breeding, collection, preservation, marketing and consumption, said the Cabinet Secretary.

The major objectives of the policy are to ensure sustainable production of the safe and nutritious crops, production of environment-tolerant crops and safety and welfare of the agricultural workers.

Besides, the meeting approved in principle the draft of Kurigram Agricultural University Bill, 2020 to establish the country’s seventh agricultural university aiming to develop agriculture in the northern districts through research.

“It’ll be a prototype of the existing agricultural universities,” the Cabinet Secretary said, adding that now there are 153 universities – 46 public universities and 107 private ones—in the country.

Besides, the Cabinet approved the draft speech of President Abdul Hamid to be delivered at the first session of the Parliament in 2021.

The Cabinet Secretary said 10 major issues will get importance in the President’s speech.

The issues include the country’s overall scenario and macroeconomic condition; the government’s measures and successes in improvement of the country’s socioeconomic status; activities and programmes taken in different sectors to implement the Vision 2021 and formulation of the Vision-2041; local and overseas employment; and implementation of different ICT related development measures to build Digital Bangladesh, he said.

The other major issues are expansion of social safety net programmes; the progress in the trial process of war criminals; the successes achieved regarding foreign relations; the birth centenary celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and programmes taken for it; and administrative policies, strategies, development philosophy and guidelines for progress, he added.

Moreover, the Cabinet was informed about the measures and work-plans taken by the Local Government Division to check the Covid-19 infection.

The Cabinet was also informed about the introduction of an international prize titled “UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize for the Creative Economy.

The prize will be awarded in every third year and the prize money is US$ 50,000, added the Cabinet Secretary. Bss.

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