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The Financial Express

US turns to B'desh for protective virus gear

Several local factories start production


MIR MOSTAFIZUR RAHAMAN | Published: March 29, 2020 12:00:29 | Updated: March 31, 2020 11:41:19


US turns to B'desh for protective virus gear

The United States wants to buy 25 types of coronavirus protective gear from Bangladesh.

The US Embassy in Dhaka recently submitted a list of the items to the foreign ministry.

While commenting on the issue, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told the FE that the foreign ministry facilitated a meeting between the US Embassy and Bangladeshi businessmen after the US had requested these items.

"Our entrepreneurs said they would be able to provide 14 types of items including masks, gloves and shoe covers. The rest could be supplied if raw materials are imported," he said.

The US seems to be desperate to buy these items and they are requesting our entrepreneurs to ensure the supply as soon as possible, Dr Momen said. They would take supplies of these items by a chartered plane, he added.

"This will be exported from Bangladesh and several factories are now engaged to produce these items. We are happy to help the US as they have already provided us with $3.4 million to help prevent spread of coronavirus in Bangladesh," he said.

The minister also said other countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan also expressed their interest to buy these types of items from Bangladesh.

But he said Bangladesh would supply those items after meeting its own demand.

About the current coronavirus situation, the minister said it is still "under our control." "We are now enforcing quarantine. And if the non-resident Bangladeshis can maintain quarantine, things can improve", he said.

According to the minister, 500-600 thousand (5-6 lakh) non-resident Bangladeshis arrived home in the last two months.

About the alleged short supply of testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE), he said China has made available 30 thousand pieces of equipment and another 30 thousand pieces would arrive on Sunday (today).

Besides, the minister said, "Our factories are producing 5-6 lakh pieces of PPE every week. So, there will be no short supply."

He said Bangladesh had already written to the European Union and G-7 countries for cooperation so that the economic loss incurred due to coronavirus could be recovered.

mirmostafiz@yahoo.com

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