Bangladeshi Ambassador to China: Collaboration vital in global COVID-19 fight

By Gong Yingchun
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 27, 2020
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In the face of the global public health crisis caused by COVID-19, it is vital for the international community to act responsibly and collaborate with each other to combat the pandemic, Mahbub Uz Zaman, Bangladeshi ambassador to China, told 

Bangladeshi Ambassador to China Mahbub Uz Zaman. [Photo provided to]

Zaman underscored the importance of countries worldwide sharing and exchanging their best practices and experiences in containing the virus, urging more nations to help those with weaker public health systems improve their preparedness and response. 

"China has played a crucial role in this respect," he said. 

He pointed out that China has been working closely with Bangladesh and providing the country with assistance since the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak in Bangladesh. 

"The Chinese government, Alibaba Foundation and many other Chinese firms doing business in Bangladesh have donated a large number of face masks, personal protective equipment, goggles, reagents for test kits, rapid test kits as well as thermometers [to Bangladesh]," explained Zaman. 

Moreover, Zaman noted that in order to help Bangladesh contain the epidemic as early as possible, a Chinese medical team also held a video conference with local experts in Bangladesh to share treatment methods and their hands-on experience in pandemic prevention and control.

Zaman said, "Bangladesh is grateful for the assistance rendered by the Chinese government, Chinese companies and the Chinese people in such a difficult and challenging moment."

China and Bangladesh are friendly neighbors who have always understood and supported each other. After the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, Bangladesh expressed its sympathy and provided 1 million face masks and other medical supplies to help China fight the novel coronavirus, Zaman said.

Bangladesh, with its high population density, is facing formidable challenges in terms of swiftly and effectively halting human-to-human transmission in a bid to contain the spread of the disease, the ambassador said. 

Medical supplies donated by the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 29, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

As of 4 a.m. CEST on April 27, Bangladesh had reported a total of 5,416 confirmed cases and 145 deaths, according to the COVID-19 situation dashboard by the World Health Organization. 

The number of new infections has "increased considerably" in Bangladesh over the past week, and experts have warned that infections may follow an exponential pattern, Zaman said. 

Against this backdrop, Bangladesh has declared on April 16 that the entire country was at risk of the pandemic, and so the government decided to extend the nationwide shutdown of offices and workplaces until May 5, in order to minimize the impact of the pandemic. 

Zaman noted that Bangladesh has now greatly improved its testing capabilities. However, with more people needing to be tested and the increase in confirmed cases, he explained that the country is facing the "onerous task" of expanding testing facilities and increasing the number of medical sites to ensure all those infected can receive treatment. 

Given the current pandemic situation in Bangladesh, Zaman said that China and Bangladesh will continue to cooperate with one another to jointly deal with the pandemic’s impact, adding that China will send more experts to Bangladesh and offer more technological support in terms of treating infected patients, screening people and supplying ventilators.

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