Information Minister Hasan Mahmud on Monday said the whole country is watching that BNP is not in the field but its leaers are giving speeches on televisions from their homes.
The minister came up with the remarks while talking to journalists at the secretariat, responding to the criticism of BNP's senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
“I don’t want to attack anyone personally but people have eyes and they can see who are on the field and giving relief. Awami League has provided aid to 1.25 crore families and government has brought 7 crore people under the relief scheme,” he said.
BNP leaders are doing video conference from home while AL leaders are working in the field, many have died and people of the country can realise that, Mahmud added.
Talking about patients deaths after being refused from several hospitals, the minister said the hospitals can manage admission of patients in other hospitals if they are unable to provide necessary treatments but can’t refuse.
"I think it is a crime. Hospitals can’t avoid the responsibility of these patients,” he said.
Read Also: BNP doesn’t care about working class people: Hasan Mahmud
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday said BNP is misleading the nation with imaginary information even during the coronavirus pandemic.
“BNP is involved in their traditional politics of complaints without playing a responsible role during the corona crisis. They are misleading the nation with unreal information,” said Quader at a regular press briefing at his residence.
Mentioning that BNP became world champion in corruption for five times, Quader , also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said that they are rejected by people in elections and politics for looting.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's anti-corruption stance and her personal integrity are appreciated at home and abroad, he said adding that no matter who is corrupt, the Sheikh Hasina government will remain firm in its zero tolerance policy.
He also called upon the BNP to extend cooperation in the fight against coronavirus by avoiding the politics of division and hostility.
Read Also: Obaidul Quader slams BNP
The minister said that the government is increasing the number of safety equipment, ventilation system and doctors which has been possible due to coordinated efforts and efficiency of the government. “But BNP's activities are limited to statements only,” he added.
Stating that holding any election amid pandemic is unacceptable, BNP has decided not to join the by-polls to Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 constituencies billed for July 14.
The party standing committee took the decision at a virtual meeting on Sunday night, said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
“We don't think the polls schedule is a time-befitting one as several thousand people are being infected with coronavirus and many people are dying every day. Voting is not acceptable at a time when the government is talking about social distancing and maintaining all health hygiene rules,” he said.
He also said the Election Commission's decision to hold the by-polls during the growing corona transmission is politically motivated. “That's why it’s not possible for us to participate in the by-polls.”
Fakhrul said they joined other elections in the past, but the prevailing corona situation has forced them to boycott the two upcoming by-polls.
Earlier on Saturday, the Election Commission (EC) decided to hold the by-polls to the Bogura-1 and the Jashore-6 constituencies on 14 July though there is no visible sign of improvement in the coronavirus situation.
The by-polls to the two constituencies were salted for March 29 last, but those were postponed due to the outbreak of the corona pandemic in the country.
The commission said it has no option but to take such a decision as there is a constitutional binding to hold by-polls within 180 days after any constituency falls vacant.
Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 constituencies fell vacant following the deaths of ruling party MPs Abdul Mannan on January 18 and Ismat Ara Sadique January 21 respectively.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday alleged that people are being deprived of medical services as the country’s health sector has collapsed due to corruption by the "government".
“It’s unfortunate that the government has completely shattered the health system in Bangladesh through widespread corruption. So, now people are not getting any health services,” he said.
The BNP leader came up with the allegation while inaugurating healthcare services of South Surma Nationalist Forum in Sylhet for corona-infected people through a virtual programme.
Depicting the ‘sordid’ condition of hospitals, Fakhrul said people are dying there for lack of oxygen and ventilator and other healthcare facilities.
He said the prices of oxygen cylinder, glove, mask, sanitizer and other corona protective gears and materials are going up usually for lack of government control. “In fact, the government has no initiative to bring the situation under control.”
Fakhrul said it was not a very difficult task to control the coronavirus as Vietnam, Cuba, China and New Zealand did it, and successfully contained the transmission of the deadly virus.
He said the government could have encouraged people to maintain social distancing, health hygiene rules and wear masks and do the things needed to be done had it had good will to control the corona outbreak.
He also said they are worried that the virus may transmit further if the government fails to take necessary steps to prevent mass gathering and crowding on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.
Fakhrul said Sylhet has now become a coronavirus hotspot as the virus is spreading badly there.
Under the circumstances, he urged the local BNP leaders to come forward with various initiatives for ensuring healthcare for people since the government is ‘indifferent’ about it.
Jatiya Party chairman Ghulam Muhammed Quader on Sunday demanded expanding the oxygen supply for the Covid-19 patients across the country alongside ramping up testing.
“Corona patients die due to breathing problem. So, the corona-infected patients need oxygen support and life support through ventilators. These supports are not available in most of the places of the country except some hospitals in Dhaka. So, the government will have to ensure the oxygen supports across the country soon as much as possible,” he said.
GM Quader, also the deputy opposition leader in Parliament, made his remarks while talking to reporters after a preparatory meeting over the observation of the first death anniversary of Hussain Muhammad Ershad at Jatiya Party chairman’s Banani office in the city, said a press release.
He said if the oxygen and ventilation support can be ensured, the death rate among the corona patients would largely decline and thus remove corona-phobia from the people of the country. If so, it will restore the normal public life and accelerate the vibrancy of the economy, he added.
The Jatiya Party chief said it’ll have to focus further on the Covid-19 testing and ensure that sample testing is conducted in every district in a bid to check the infection rate.
In the meeting, the party finalised different programmes to observe the first death anniversary of HM Ershad on July 14 next.
As part of the programmes, the JP central leaders led by its chairman GM Quader and secretary general Mashiur Rahaman Ranga will go to Rangpur to place wreath at the grave of HM Ershad, join discussion and Milad-Mahfil there on July 14 morning.
Later, GM Quader will join a discussion and Milad-Mahfil at the party’s Banani office in Dhaka in the afternoon.