BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. File photo
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday trashed Awami League’s accusation of doing politics over corona issue, saying their party is performing its political responsibility by identifying the government’s flaws in preventing the spread of the virus.
“'Coronavirus has become pandemic around the world and it has no relation with politics. But can’t we identify the shortcoming of the government? If we say anything about it, they (AL) tell us not to do politics with the issue,” he said.
The BNP leader further said, “We’re not doing politics over the coronavirus. As one of the largest responsible political parties in the country, we’re performing our duties to prevent it. We’ve started distributing leaflets across the country, including Dhaka, to raise public awareness.”
Fakhrul came up with the remarks before launching BNP’s leaflet distribution programme in front of its Nayapaltan central office to increase public awareness about the coronavirus.
He said they are distributing leaflets aiming to protect people from an epidemic like coronavirus and stand by people.
The BNP leader said their party has already postponed their countrywide demonstration programme while most of the scheduled programmes of their associate bodies have also been postponed to tackle the coronavirus.
He said they asked their all units across the country to raise awareness among people about the virus from their own positions and stand beside the affected people. "We would like to urge people to be aware of the coronavirus and take all the necessary measures to prevent it.”
He said almost every country in the world has declared emergency and taken necessary steps on priority basis to get rid of the virus. “But unfortunately, awareness has not been raised in our country. The government didn’t give any importance to the issue at the initial stage. Some actions have been taken after three people were infected with the virus.”
He said there is no screening system at ports, as inadequate thermal scanners have been put in place there. “The thermal scanners at airports are too inadequate that the Chinese ambassador has to make a comment about it.”
Besides, the BNP leader said, proper treatment facilities have not been ensured at the medical centers designated for the treatment of the virus-affected patients.
He said their party thinks the government took too much time in taking preparations to prevent coronavirus as it could not pay any attention to the matter as their main focus was on Mujib Year celebrations.
Fakhrul bemoaned that though the government used to talk about development, the condition of the country’s health sector is so week that people are not getting service there.
He said their party earlier urged the government to shut schools, colleges and universities as part of a precautionary step to check the spread of the coronavirus, but the government could not yet take any decision in this regard.
Referring to media reports, Fakhrul said all the educational institutions have been shut in the USA and emergency has been declared in different states while India has stopped issuing new visas. “The entire world has taken this matter very seriously. We think had there been a democratic government here, these problems would not have created in our country.”
He renewed their party’s demand for the release of their party chairperson Khaleda Zia on humanitarian ground.
Later, Fakhrul together with their party’s some leaders distributed leaflets titled “Protect Yourself from Corona” among pedestrians, passengers and drivers from Nayapaltan to Nightingale Crossing.