Criticising the Health Ministry’s move to ‘stop’ drives at hospitals by law enforcers, BNP on Thursday said it has exposed that the government wants to protect those involved in corruption in the health sector.
“The Health Services Division issued a circular (to refrain law enforcers from raiding hospitals) which has proved that the government wants to protect corruption as most of those involved in corruption and fraudulent acts in the health sector, and giving forged certificates, belonging to the ruling party. This circular has been issued to protect them,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a virtual press conference from Kurigram, he feared that the health sector will face even more dire consequences in the days to come and there will be no service for people. The way corona infections are gradually spreading to remote areas from Dhaka, sick people will be in deep troubles. Such an indication is there in the Health Services Division’s move.”
On Wednesday, Health Services Division of the Health Ministry sent a letter to the Home Ministry asking it to keep law enforcement agencies away from raiding the government and private hospitals.
About the flood situation, Rizvi said the flood-affected people are going through a tough time for lack of relief support by the government. “I’ve arrived in Kurigram from Dhaka to see the flood situation. I also visited some other flood-hit districts. The flood victims are passing an inhuman life for lack of food and shelter.”
He said many houses and cattle washed away by floodwater while huge croplands went under floodwater. “But we haven’t yet seen any government steps needs to take to tackle the flood situation and ensure relief for the victims.”
Amid the flood, Rizvi said the corona situation is deteriorating in Kurigram as both the numbers of infections and deaths are growing in the district for lack of the government’s effective preventive measures.
The 71st anniversary of birth of Sheikh Kamal, the eldest son of the Father of the Nation, was celebrated at Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, recalling his extraordinary contributions to the national life.
On the occasion, the embassy organized a discussion on the life and work of Sheikh Kamal, screened a documentary on his life and cut a birthday cake and arranged special prayers.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin and Minister (Press) Shamim Ahmad took part in the discussion.
First Secretary & Head of Chancery Md Mahmudul Islam conducted the programme, said a media release on Thursday.
Paying rich tributes to Sheikh Kamal, Ambassador Ziauddin characterized him as an icon of the new and future generations of Bangladeshis.
He said Sheikh Kamal devoted his time to reorganizing and modernizing Bangladesh’s sports and cultural bodies to praiseworthy level and dreamt of raising football, cricket and hockey to international standards.
In the sports world, he said, Sheikh Kamal’s best achievement was the establishment of the Abahoni Sporting Club in 1972.
The Ambassador said, “Today, he lives in the hearts of all Bangladeshis, old and young, as a symbol of inspiration to reach high levels of life. He has left behind a rich legacy of ideals, achievements, love and devotion for Bangladesh, for the young generations to emulate and follow.”
Other Bangladesh missions abroad also celebrated the day.
Fifteen dengue patients are undergoing treatment at different hospitals as of Thursday, said Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
However, no new case has been reported during the last 24 hours, according to a regular DGHS update.
Currently, 14 dengue patients are undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the capital while another one outside Dhaka.
The health authorities reported 362 dengue cases since the beginning of this year. Among them, 346 made recovery.
Bangladesh witnessed a massive dengue outbreak last year when 101,354 people were hospitalised and among them 101,037 made full recovery.
According to official figures, the mosquito-borne disease killed 179 people last year.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked the authorities concerned to work for making the investment climate in the country more attractive overcoming the problems caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Now an investment-friendly environment is there in the country. But all countries of the world are now facing problems due to coronavirus. We’ll have to pay attention to how we can take the economy of our country forward amid the problem. We’ll have to work and make our investment atmosphere more attractive,” she said.
The Prime Minister issued the directive while addressing the governing board meeting of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).
The Prime Minister joined the meeting from her official residence Ganobhaban through a videoconference, but other board members got connected from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh achieved the MDGs, announced by the United Nations, with competence and is now making efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We’ve already started giving importance to some issues. Infrastructure development is one of them as investment can never be attracted without having good infrastructures,” she said.
Hasina said the government has been working so that all communications routes --roads, waterways, rail and airways— are developed ones.
Mentioning that the government has addressed the acute electricity crisis, she said now the country has surplus electricity.
The Prime Minister said the government is importing LNG alongside taking measures to extract (more) natural gas in the country.
With a view to creating a conducive environment to investment, 100 economic zones are being set up across the country, she said adding that the government is taking measures so that the entire country is developed, not one region of it.
The economic zones can easily attract larger local and foreign investments alongside creation of huge jobs, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said people have started getting benefits from the measures taken by the government for attracting investment.
Alongside giving tax rebate to expedite industrialization, the government has taken various measures, including exemption of interest for the import of capital machinery, she said.
Stating that there would be no problem over lands in the case of investment due to the 100 economic zones, Hasina mentioned that the tax rebate and exemption of interest and setting up the economic zones will make the investment environment more attractive.
She said Bangladesh achieved 8.1 percent GDP growth and was on the way to attain 8.2 percent growth, but unfortunately the coronavirus has stalled this progress.
Hasina said the country could have advanced further had the coronavirus not hit. “Though the coronavirus dealt a blow to the country, it has also created a scope for us. We’ve to keep this in mind…we’ve to bring more investment… we've (huge) population and our lands remain ready (for investors). There are other facilities.”
Mentioning that the BIDA had a plan to organise the Bangabandhu International Investment Summit in Bangladesh in the Mujib Borsho, she said it is not possible to arrange such a summit as planned in the current situation, but it can be done through a digital platform.
With 39 additional deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the death toll in Bangladesh from Covid-19 has gone up to 3306 on Thursday.
On average, some 165.3 deaths have been recorded per week since March 18.
During the period, 2,977 new cases have been detected by the health authorities after testing 12,708 samples.
So far, 2,49,651 have been diagnosed with the disease against 12,25,124 tests.
The daily infection rate and overall infection rate against the number of total tests are 23.43 percent and 20.38 percent respectively.
The total number of recoveries saw moderate growth Thursday as 2,074 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, raising the total number of recovered cases to 1,43,824. The recovery rate is now 57.6 percent.
These data were revealed at the daily online health bulletin of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) broadcasted from Mohakhali.
At present, there are 1,02,521 active cases of Covid-19 in the country.
In the last 24 hours, the highest 13 deaths were recorded in the age bracket of 61 and 70 years followed by nine between 51 and 60 years.
Seventeen patients died in Dhaka, seven in Chattogram, four in Khulna, one in Mymensingh, six in Rangpur and Rajshahi and four in Barishal and Sylhet divisions during the period.
Among the total 3,306 deceased, highest 1549 patients are aged over 60 years.
At present 18,674 people are in isolation while 52,820 are home and institutionally quarantined in the country.