By SM Najmus Sakib
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on Saturday that it approved a grant of $300,000 for Bangladesh to bolster its efforts to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The ADB said in a statement that it approved on Friday the emergency grant which would be used on procuring health safety equipment, including masks, safety googles, aprons, thermometers and biohazard bags, as prioritized by the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The grant will be part of the bank's regional support to address the coronavirus outbreak, as well as and "potential outbreaks of other communicable diseases."
"ADB is fully committed to supporting Bangladesh in the fight to control COVID-19, and this is only the first of the planned support that ADB is preparing to help the Government deal with this difficult situation," said Country Director Manmohan Parkash.
"We are working tirelessly to put together further assistance in the health and financial sectors," Parkash added.
Bangladesh has 48 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and five deaths.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 177 countries and regions, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
The data shows more than 607,900 cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll surpassing 28,100, and over 131,800 recoveries.