Govt too busy with Mujib Year celebrations to deal with coronavirus: BNP's Rizvi

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-03-11 16:45:47 BdST


BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi has accused the government of being too preoccupied with the birth centenary celebrations of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to properly address the growing panic over a novel coronavirus.

“The nation is gripped with panic over the coronavirus but the government is negligent and whimsical over the issue. Their entire focus is on celebrating Mujib Year,” Rizvi said in a media briefing on Wednesday.

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research or IEDCR confirmed the first three cases of the coronavirus in Bangladesh on Sunday. Two of them had recently returned from Italy, while the other is a relative of one of the returnees.

According to Rizvi, a few unscrupulous officials are selling off health certificates in the airport.

“No proper screening system exists in the country to identify people infected with the virus. A group of dishonest officials are selling ‘coronavirus-free certificates’ in the airport. The media already reported on it.”

“That’s why those Italy returnees were not detected at the airport. The government shifted them to a hospital when they visited a doctor after their condition deteriorated. The wife of one of the returnees has also been infected with the coronavirus.”

The BNP bemoaned the 'completely unsafe' state of airports and land ports while alleging that public hospitals lack adequate ICU beds and ventilation machines to treat infected patients.

"The airports don’t have scanners or have ones that are out of order. Three thermal scanners were installed in the international airport but they are broken already,” said Rizvi.