Jatiya Party Chairman and deputy opposition leader in Parliament GM Quader on Thursday questioned about getting license of a substandard hospital, Regent Hospital, from Health Ministry to provide COVID-19 tests.
"The question is how this kind of organisation, which don't have any facility for coronavirus testing, got license to do the job, what did the Health Department, which is supposed to supervise the overall process, do? ?" he said in Parliament.
He mentioned that on Wednesday the Prime Minister told something regarding the Regent Hospital and all came to know that she has to intervene in the matter and after that steps have been taken.
"A big damage has been done at the national level. People who are going abroad getting coronavirus negative tests are testing positive in foreign lands. Many countries are declining to accept these results from our country," he said.
GM Quader mentioned that many countries are not believing these test results and some countries already banned landing of aircrafts carrying Bangladeshi passengers.
Coronavirus cases were first reported in China. Bangladesh confirmed its first cases on March 8.
"During that time Health Ministry failed to take proper preparations to give medical services. Later, it started callously and till now we can not say that adequate medical facilities have been created," he said.
Jatiya Party chairman said that if the facilities could have been established on emergency basis then the death rate might be much lower.
"It would not be correct to say Health Division did not do anything, but they were inactive while they were supposed to play their due role, their pace of work was slow when they had started their job. From the very beginning mismanagement and lack of coordination was clear in their activities," he added.
He put emphasis on increasing the number of testing labs to figure out the actual situation of the country and reduce the hassle of the common people.
The deputy leader of opposition also mentioned that lockdown would not bring any good result economically in the context of Bangladesh.
He said that through proper medicare facilities the fear regarding this virus can be reduced which is very much essential right now.
He asked the health ministry to increase the number of ICU and ventilators to give support to the COVID-19 infected patients.
Talking about the waterways accidents he proposed to establish a separate special tribunal.
He alleged that the authorities deployed to look after the plying of vehicles on the waterways are not performing their responsibilities properly. "If they do that then accidents would have been reduced significantly," he said.
GM Quader also asked the government to take preventive measurers so that syndicate could not control the price of raw hide during the coming Eid-ul-Azha like the recent years.
Expressing his apprehension regarding flood in the coming days, he said that there should be a coordinated effort to face the challenges due to the flood.
BNP on Wednesday alleged that the government is using the Digital Security Act against dissidents to hush up its graft and scams.
“There has been a case filing spree under the Digital Security Act to silence people. This act is being used indiscriminately against the free-thinkers so that people can’t know about many massive scandals and graft incidents,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Stating that opposing the government does not mean to oppose the state, he said people are being implicated in treason cases for speaking against the current 'regime'. “So, we think the use of a Draconian law like the Digital Security Act against innocent people is a serious injustice and sin.”
The BNP leader came up with the remarks at a virtual press briefing at their party’s Nayapaltan central office.
He said around 200 people, including university teachers, doctors, students and women, were arrested over the past three months only for criticising the government over its failure to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. “Even, a 10th grader teenage student of Bhaluka was detained.”
The BNP leader said the government is presenting various conspiracy theories before people for using the Digital Security Act.
He said the government has stanched people’s freedom of expression and independence ‘abusing’ the state power and enacting various ‘black’ laws. “The government is taking revenge on people.”
He said it is the old tradition of Awami League that the party cannot tolerate multiparty democracy. “It also has a tradition to establish partisan rule through various tricks suppressing opposition parties and dissidents.”
Awami League presidium member Amir Hossain Amu has been made the spokesperson and coordinator of the 14-party alliance.
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader confirmed the matter in a briefing through online on Wednesday.
Quader, also Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appointed Amir Hossain Amu as spokesperson with the consent of other leaders of 14-party alliance.
The post remained vacant after the death of Awami League presidium member Mohammed Nasim on June 13.
BNP on Tuesday alleged that the government is regulating the sample test of coronavirus only to show people a lower rate of Covid-19 infections in the country.
“The corona sample test is now being controlled. A few days ago, samples of 15,000-16,000 people were being tested, but it has now come down to 11,000-12,000. The sample test has now come down by 4,000-5,000,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
He further said, “It means the government is forcibly showing people less corona infections by controlling corona tests.”
The BNP leader came up with the allegation at a virtual press conference from BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
He called upon Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader to explain reasons behind the sharp fall in corona sample test at a time when the virus is spreading fast.
About providing false corona test reports and certificates by Regent Hospital, Rizvi said though the government is regulating the media, people are getting stunned seeing a few reports on corruption by the ‘ruling party leaders."
Stating that Regent Hospital is owned by a ruling party leader, Rizvi said the hospital authorities embezzled huge money by giving people false positive and false negative reports of coronavirus without any test. "The leaders of Awami League could not get out of its corruption habit even at this bad time of people.”
He alleged that people are not getting proper treatment at hospitals and failing to undergo corona tests. “Though the ruling party is playing a game with people’s lives, no one can raise voice against it. It’s a manifestation of an utter authoritarian rule.”
BNP on Tuesday asked the Election Commission not to hold the parliamentary by-polls to Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 on July 14 next amid this pandemic situation.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir sent a letter to the EC asking the Commission not to keep its polls symbol in the ballot paper if it holds the elections in this situation.
A two-member BNP delegation, led by its joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, handed over the letter to EC Senior Secretary Md Alamgir at the latter’s office in the city’s Agargaon area.
“We’ve asked the EC to back off from its decision to arrange the by-polls in the current situation and hold that when the situation becomes normal,” said Alal while talking to reporters at the Nirbachan Bhaban.
He said they informed the commission that if it holds the elections in this situation, BNP will not participate in the polls.
Another member of the BNP team is Mosharraf Hossain MP (Bogura-4).
While talking to reporters, the EC Secretary said the by-elections are being held at this time due to its constitutional obligation.
He said there is no scope for dropping election symbol from the ballot paper after the date of withdrawal of candidature.
The Jashore-6 and Bogura-1, which fell vacant following the death of Awami League MPs Ismat Ara Sadique and Abdul Mannan respectively, were supposed to go to polls on March 29.
But the EC had to postpone the election schedules of the two constituencies in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country.
The Commission has recently announced the fresh schedule for the parliamentary by-elections fixing July 14 for balloting.