BNP has demanded that the Army and relevant organisations be given the responsibility to procure the Covid-19 vaccine and preserve and distribute it.
Members of the BNP standing committee, the highest policymaking body of the party, at a meeting on Sunday made the demand, said a press release on Monday.
“There’s an apprehension that the activities of the life-saving vaccine procurement can be hampered due to the incompetence of the Health Ministry. The BNP standing committee thinks people won’t be benefited if a pragmatic plan on the collection, preservation and distribution of the vaccine is not adopted. Instead, there’s a huge scope for corruption in this process,” the media release said.
The meeting said it is not possible for the corruption-riddled Health Ministry and the relevant offices to properly do the huge job relating to the vaccine. “The Armed Forces and other agencies concerned should be given this job as some developed countries have engaged army personnel to do that.”
They urged the government to immediately declare a plan with a detailed outline to ensure strict monitoring and accountability regarding the collection, preservation and distribution of the vaccine.
The BNP standing committee also demanded the government take steps to give the vaccine to people free of cost.
The meeting said the government should take preparations in advance to preserve the vaccine at the right temperature as Bangladesh needs 32 crore doses of the vaccine for its 16 crore people.
Unlike other countries, the BNP policymakers said, the government is not taking prompt steps to have a vaccine and its proper presentation.
They voiced concern that the coronavirus has spread badly across the country due to the government’s failures, indifference and corruption.
BNP on Saturday strongly condemned and protested the renaming of ‘Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman High School at Mughaltuli in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), saying it is an act of "political vengeance" of the current government.
In a statement, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that the DSCC authorities have changed the name of the school as Puran Mughaltuli High School "ignoring the demand of the local people" and their sentiment.
“When a decision to change the name of the school had been taken, BNP and local people immediately registered their protest against it. We had urged the city corporation to refrain from such a vindictive measure, but it’s regrettable that they didn’t pay heed to any demand of people,” he alleged.
In recognition of Zia’s glorious and courageous role in the Liberation War and his contributions to building a modern and prosperous Bangladesh, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, the BNP leader said the then elected mayor of Dhaka City Corporation, established the 'Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman High School' at the initiative of the city corporation in 2006.
Fakhrul alleged that Dhaka South City Corporation has changed the name of the school driven by the "politics of vengeance and distortion of history of the present government".
“We strongly condemn and protest this move. The current fascist regime made many attempts to erase the name of Ziaur Rahman from people’s hearts for over the last 12 years, but failed, and won’t be able to do that ever,” he said.
The BNP leader warned that those who try to remove Zia’s name will be thrown into the "dustbin of history" and they will be erased from the minds of people forever.
Also read: BNP demands reelections to local bodies
Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna on Saturday alleged that the "government-backed syndicate" has raised the prices of daily essentials to make a quick buck, inflicting suffering on people.
"The prices of essentials are going up because of a syndicate-backed by the government. That’s why it’s unable to rein in this syndicate,” he told a human-chain programme.
Manna said, “They (govt) are unable to reduce the prices of essentials. What kind of government is this? People, their lives and assets, and the dignity of women are no longer safe under the current regime.”
Bangladesh Labour Party arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club protesting the price hike of essentials.
The Nagorik Oikya chief said the prices of essentials will not come down and the incidents of crossfire, repression on women and fire in slums will not stop as long as the current government remains in power.
He said there is no alternative to waging a mass movement to overcome the sordid condition of the country and the ‘misrule’ of the government. “Forge a big alliance together with all the democratic parties and take to the streets to oust the government. We must take preparations for that.”
Stating that the government has snatched people’s all the democratic rights, Manna said people must restore their rights through a democratic movement.
“We don’t want any chaos as we just look for getting back our lost rights. They (AL) snatched our victory in this month by hijacking votes. We now take a vow in this month to get our victory back,” he added.
Manna said over 30 people are dying of coronavirus every day while about 2,500 people are getting infected as the winter wave of the deadly virus has begun in the country.
“TIB has recently said the government lied about the Corona situation. Those who have conducted various studies so far, including (icddr,b) said that at least 50 percent of people in Dhaka city have been infected with corona, but the government didn’t give us that information.”
He said the government is only asking people to mask up, but hospitals lack necessary oxygen facilities and there is no step to ensure adequate oxygen plants at the hospitals.
Manna voiced worry that people will not get treatment at the hospitals if the corona cases continue to spike in the coming days as the government has no preparation to deal with the worsening situation.
Also read: Manna accuses govt of oppression
Awami League on Saturday picked its candidates for contesting elections to 25 pourasavas.
The names of the contenders were finalised at a meeting of Awami League’s Local Government Nomination Board, held at Ganobhaban with AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The division-wise names of the pourasavas:
Rangpur Division: Zakia Sultana (Panchagar), M KashirulnAlam (Pirganj), M Khawja Moin Uddin (Fulbari), M Ahsanul Huq Chowdhury (Badarganaj) and M Kaziul Islam (Kurigram).
Rajshahi Division are: M Rabiul Islam (Puthia), M Abbas Ali (Katakhali), Monir Akther Khan Toru Lodi (Shahjadpur) and Shakhwat Hossain Shakho (Chatmohor).
Khulna division: Al Masum Murshed (Khoksha), Sajat Kumar Biswas (Chalna), and Reazul Islam Zoardar (Chuadanga).
Borishal Division: ABM Golam Kabir (Betagi), A Barek Molla (Kuakata), M Giauddin Bepari (Ujirpur) and M Lokman Hossain Dakua (Bakerganj).
Mymensingh division-- SM Iqbal Hossain Suman (Gafargaon) and M Abdul Hannan Talukder (Madan).
Sylhet Division: Biswajit Roy (Dirai), Abul Imam M Kamran Chowdhury (Borolekha) and M Masuduzzaman Masuq (Shayestaganj).
Chattagram Division: Badiul Alam (Sitakund).
Though the coronavirus cases and deaths are surging with the beginning of winter, there is no visible preparation by the government to ensure proper treatment of patients in hospitals, said Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader.
While inaugurating a two-month-long blanket distribution programme in the capital’s Lalbagh area on Saturday, he renewed his party’s demand for ensuring free coronavirus vaccine for all when one will be available.
“Corona infections and deaths have increased with the arrival of winter, but the Health Ministry has no visible preparation for ensuring treatment for the infected people,” he said.
Jatiya Party Presidium member Haji Saifuddin Ahmed Milon arranged the programme at Amaligola Park in the capital's Lalbagh area. He will be distributing blankets among the destitute for two months.
GM Quader said only some private hospitals in the capital have life and oxygen support arrangements but most hospitals lack such facilities.
“As common people cannot afford to go to private hospitals for treatment, they’re getting well or dying by receiving treatment with their own management when they are infected. So, effective corona treatment should be ensured at every public hospital of the country,” he observed.
GM Quader also said the government must focus on ensuring free corona treatment for the common people. ”As a humanitarian political party, Jatiya Party will always be there beside the common people.”
Besides, he said, about 90% of people in the country will not be able to purchase the vaccine. “It would be impossible for those who struggle to manage food to buy the vaccine. So, the government needs to ensure a free corona vaccine for everyone in the country."
Jatiya Party secretary general Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu said people are passing through a tough time to cope with the skyrocketing prices of the daily essentials amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s also no security of people’s lives. Only Jatiya Party can bring relief to the public mind and ensure the security of their lives,” he added.