The third tranche consists of RT-PCR COVID-19 kits capable of running 30 thousand tests.After being received in Dhaka, the RT-PCR test kits were dispatched to the Institute of Epidemiological Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Bangladesh.
According to a Press Release issued by the High Commission of India, these test kits are domestically manufactured in India and they are being widely used for COVID-19 detection. Bangladesh is the first country to receive these test kits on priority which reflects the importance India attaches to Bangladesh. The release said that the assistance is in line with India’s Neighbourhood first policy and reaffirms India’s commitment to take a collaborative regional approach to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K.Abdul Momen appreciated India’s help for providing medical assistance through three tranches following the outbreak of the Corona pandemic.
The assistance is covered under the SAARC COVID-19 emergency fund which was set up with an initial contribution of 10 million dollars by India on the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his video conferencing with leaders of SAARC nations on March 15.
The first tranche of emergency medical assistance under this fund containing 30,000 surgical masks and 15 thousand head-caps was handed over to Bangladesh on 25 March. The second tranche consisting of 50 thousand sterile surgical gloves and 1 lakh Hydroxychloroquine tablets were handed over on 26th April.
India has also conducted online courses for medical professionals of SAARC countries under its Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) framework programme. Two such courses have been conducted by AIIMS, Raipur and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh in April and May. Over 150 health professionals from Bangladesh have benefitted from these programmes. Another programme designed by AIIMS, Bhubaneshwar specifically for Bangladesh in Bangla language will be held on 12-13 May.