Dhaka, Tuesday, 04 October 2022

BGMEA seeks EU, US support for vaccination of garment workers

BGMEA seeks EU, US support for vaccination of garment workers

Apparel Correspondent: Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has sought support from the United States and European Union to assist in rapid vaccination of readymade garment workers in Bangladesh.

BGMEA also wrote to Shwapna Bhowmick, country manager of Marks and Spencer Bangladesh Regional Office, highlighting the matter, read a BGMEA media release.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan in separate letters to the US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller, EU Ambassador in Dhaka Rensje Teerink and M&S Country Director Shwapna Bhowmick made the call.

“Bangladesh government has been very supportive of providing us with the necessary vaccines, but the stock of available vaccine doses is the key issue in mass vaccination in the RMG sector,” said Faruque Hassan in the letter.

In the letter to Rensje Teerink, the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, he said, “The vaccination of our entire workforce is the only sustainable way we can keep the sector operating in a reliable manner. Towards this, we have already started a factory-wide vaccination program with the help of the local Government Health Services, and factory medical staff under BGMEA support.”

“With gratefulness, we acknowledging the vaccines already received from USA, but if any further excess vaccines can be granted or allocated to Bangladesh, it will help the RMG sector and Bangladesh tremendously, and save the life and livelihood of millions of people, said the business leader,” it further said.

“To maintain maximum safety standards and to identify/isolate any suspected Covid-19 infected patient, Rapid Antigen Test Kits will also be extremely beneficial. So, any contribution from your side to BGMEA Covid-19 assistance fund as well as supply of Rapid Antigen Test kits will be highly appreciated,” it said in the letter to Shwapna Bhowmick.

Bangladesh on July 19 began vaccinating workers from the export-oriented apparel industry. The vaccination program began at Gazipur and some 10,000 workers from four factories were vaccinated on the first day.