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Deputy leader of the opposition GM Quader of Jatya Party highlighted the mismanagement within the health ministry. He said that the ministry was exactly in the same place as it was last year. There had been no improvement. He reiterated the demands he had made in letters and in parliament to increase hospitals in his area. He said none of these demands had been met.

He said he had called the health minister over phone seven or eight times, but the minister did not reply. “I asked his assistants to inform him, but the minister still has not called back,” he said, adding, “India’s health system is better than ours and they are in such a crisis. If the Indian variant spreads in our country, there is much reason to be concerned.”

BNP MP Harunur Rashid said that the statement made by the health minister last Thursday was an affront to the entire House. The minister had said the MPs were the chairmen of the district hospitals, but they did not carry out their duties. That is not true and his statement should be expunged, the MP said.

Harunur Rashid said 90 per cent of the members in parliament were of the ruling party. So does that mean the ruling party MPs were not carrying out their duties? He said that the coronavirus situation would worsen in the next 10 or 15 days. An oxygen crisis had emerged. This must be addressed. And the poor people must be provided with food assistance.

Jatiya Party’s Mujibul Haque Chunnu demanded the resignation of the health minister. He questioned, “Is he human? He has no shame. Has he even for a single day visited a hospital to see how things were being managed? He just joins Zoom meetings.”

The MP went on to say, the minister draws comparisons with America – that less people die in our country than there. Does he take credit for that? What has the minister done for one year? There is no oxygen supply in 37 districts. People are dying.

JaPa’s Kazi Firoz Rashid said, “Seven persons gasped for breath and died in Satkhira in just one hour due to the lack of oxygen. What did the nurses, ward boys and physicians do?”

He said, “Patients are not given any treatment in the ICU or HDU. No one knows what goes on there. Does people’s death mean nothing? Form an inquiry committee and publish its report.”

JaPa MP Rustam Ali Farazi said, on Wednesday when the issue of mask-related corruption arose, the minister claimed that the masks had not been purchased. Yet a project director of the health directorate himself told the standing parliamentary committee of the health ministry that a surgical mask had been bought for Tk 356. Why did the health minister evade this? The MP demanded that it be made compulsory to wear masks.

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