The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has sent letters to several foreign missions in Bangladesh and international brands requesting assistance to ensure rapid inoculation of people involved in the garment sector in the country.
"Letters were sent to a total of 19 foreign Embassies and High Commissions, as well as some international brands, said BGMEA Director Mohiuddin Rubel on Thursday.
While expecting a positive response from the receivers' end, the director said that German clothing discounter KiK recently responded to BGMEA's request with a donation towards the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines for garment workers in Bangladesh.
The donation, part of KiK's social responsibility programme as a long-standing partner of the garment industry in Bangladesh, was made through the BGMEA, which will be forwarded to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, BGMEA said in a press statement on Tuesday.
In the letter sent to the foreign missions and brands, BGMEA said, "We are able to sustainably operate during the pandemic with strict health and safety protocol, we were able to keep the supply chain of garments afloat for the Western world. As one of the largest suppliers of garments to the United States, it's important that we keep the RMG sector of Bangladesh operating at full throttle without any disruption."
"Government has been very supportive of providing us with the necessary vaccines, but the stock of available vaccines is the key issue in mass vaccinating the RMG sector. But the speed of vaccination which is of dire essence for combating the Covid-19 pandemic depends on the availability of vaccines. We seek your help and assistance in procuring vaccines for RMG workers and people of Bangladesh," the letter added.
BGMEA in its letter especially mentioned the need for excess vaccines and Rapid Antigen Test Kits that are impertinent to maintain maximum safety standards and to identify/isolate any suspected Covid-19 infected patients.