World Must Declare Vaccine Public Good, Bangladesh’s Hasina Says
(Bloomberg) -- Global leaders must declare Covid-19 vaccines as a public good, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said at the Qatar Economic Forum, as the South Asian nation struggles to curb a fresh surge in infections.
“We need strong global cooperation to overcome this difficult time,” Hasina said in recorded remarks telecast Tuesday. “We firmly believe that the Covid-19 vaccines should be declared as a global public good, and the developing countries and LDCs that have capacity be given the necessary support to produce the vaccines.”
Inoculations have slowed to a crawl after neighboring India halted exports, forcing Bangladesh to enforce new lockdowns and turn to China and Russia for supplies. Only about 8.6% of its eligible population -- comprising people aged 40 years or more -- is fully vaccinated.
Bangladesh on Tuesday locked down seven central districts surrounding the capital Dhaka to restrict public transport and human mobility. It reported 4,636 coronavirus cases on Monday, the most in a day since mid-April, raising the caseload to 851,668. The reported death toll is 13,626.
Hasina said her administration has announced stimulus steps of about $15 billion, which will help the economy grow 6.1% in the year through June 30, one of the fastest paces in the world.
“We have been trying to make a balance between lives and livelihoods,” she said. “Covid-19 is a litmus test for global solidarity.”
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