Dhaka, January 19: Bangladesh Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said that the country would receive two million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine (Covishield) from India as a "gift" on Wednesday.

Maleque confirmed to IANS that a special Air India flight carrying the consignment would be landing at Dhaka airport on Wednesday, India has said in a letter to the Bangladesh government.

"We expect the vaccine will arrive as per schedule on Wednesday or on Thursday. I will personally receive the vaccine at Dhaka airport," the Health Minister said on Tuesday. The inoculation drive will begin within a week, post vaccine arrival. COVID-19 Vaccination Drive in India: 6.31 Lakh Healthcare Workers Vaccinated So Far, Says Health Ministry.

"The immunization will be carried out at 300 centres across the country," Maleque added. Meanwhile, Bangladesh has reported 702 fresh Covid-19 cases, pushing the tally to 5,29,031, while the death toll in the country mounted to 7,942 with 20 more fatalities, health officials said on Tuesday.

As many as 642 people have recovered in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 4,73,885, officials added. Of the fresh deaths, 11 are from Dhaka, six from Chittagong, two from Rajshahi and one from Khulna division.

The health workers will get the first vaccine jabs and after a week, senior citizens, police officers and other government officials will be administered the shots, Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, Director General of Health Directorate of Bangladesh, told IANS.

These vaccines will be kept in the storages of Central Medicine Store Depot, Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) and in the cold storage of Tejgaon Health Complex in Dhaka. COVID-19 Vaccination: Adverse Events 0.18% Following Immunisation, 2 Deaths Unrelated, Says Health Ministry.

Bangladesh reported its first Covid case on March 8, 2020 and the first fatality on March 18 of the same year. Alam assured of the vaccination roll out in all the districts after receiving the first consignment of Covishield doses.

The Bangladesh government in November last year signed a deal with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to buy 3 crore doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 19, 2021 11:32 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).