Over 5,000 health workers recruited to provide medical services amid the pandemic, says the prime minister
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said the government has been able to put coronavirus under control in the country as different ministries and government organisations, including the Health Ministry and Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), worked in a synchronised way with utmost sincerity.
"Some people are saying many things regarding the Directorate General of Health Services or Health Ministry… Whatever I’ve directed them on an emergency basis they did that. They worked properly… That’s why we’ve been able to keep coronavirus under control," she said.
The prime minister made the remarks in her introductory speech at a meeting of the Awami League Central Working Committee at her official residence Ganabhaban in Dhaka.
She said when she directed them to do anything on coronavirus-related issues she asked them to work promptly bypassing the mandatory government rules as those were very much urgent in order to provide medical services to the people.
"We’ve to work… We’ve to procure various materials, we’ve to provide treatment to people, we’ve to go to people and that's the most important thing. There is no need to follow all the rules when it comes to such emergency matters. If anyone falls into any trouble for anyone, we’ll look into that," she said.
Hasina said the government recruited 2,000 doctors and 3,000 nurses along with some technicians on an emergency basis to provide medical services to patients.
"I asked the Finance Ministry and Public Administration Ministry and other related ministries to sit together. I gave the decision and signed papers instantly to recruit these doctors, nurses and technicians," she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the president of ruling Awami League, said the government relaxed some rules in this connection as the country needs more doctors, nurses and technicians to face the coronavirus.
In the initial stage, she said, the government made an estimate of how many people could be infected with coronavirus, how many people need to be taken into quarantine, and prepared hospitals based on that estimate.
"We prepared hospitals up to district level with oxygen supply facilities and ICUs as soon as possible. But this is right that in the beginning we had to ensure some pains… We did that gradually at all the places," she said.
AL prevented more deaths
The prime minister thanked all the government organisations and Awami League and its associated bodies for their coordinated and sincere efforts to help people in an united manner.
"It’s only the Awami League for which people get cooperation. Had there been any other party [in power], numerous people would have died, people would have undergone indescribable sufferings,” she added.
She also said the example of such coordinated and sincere efforts is rare in the country.
Talking about the problems of expatriate Bangladeshis in different parts of the world, the prime minister said the government tried to ease their sufferings and even sent special aircraft to bring them back home.
"They’re the children of this soil… We see them as human beings… We’ve provided incentives to them abroad through our ministry concerned."
Keeping the economy moving
The prime minister said the global economy had stalled due to coronavirus. “Our government tried to keep the wheels of the country’s economy moving. We’ve announced our national budget, we didn’t reduce the budget largely, we’ve enlarged it from the previous one.
“Placing an over Tk5 lakh crore budget was a tough one… We said we’ll spend on a limited scale, we’ll do what we need the most, we placed a budget to keep our economy in shape."
She also mentioned that the government gave stimulus packages for everyone — whoever needed that.
Hasina thanked the farmers of the country for their all-out efforts in producing food grains for which the country did not plunge into any food shortage.
She also expressed her sincere thanks to Chhatra League, Juba League, Swechhashebak League, Krishak League and Awami League leaders and activists for extending their cooperation to the farmers during the paddy harvesting.
No one but AL…
Regarding the party politics, the ruling party chief said organizational power is the main thing and Awami League’s organizational power at the grassroots level has been proved again during this Covid-19 pandemic.
She said some 522 party leaders and activists died in the pandemic. "No other political party made such a great sacrifice, they just do their lip services, they were not seen standing beside people in the field," she said.
The prime minister also mentioned that there are so many organizations in the country which usually help the poor people, but in this pandemic situation their activities were not seen.
"This is the reality, all were at their houses… No one was beside people. Awami League was beside people as it’s the party of the mass people… It works for the welfare of people, we’re beside people and will always remain with them," she added.
During this pandemic, Hasina said, it was again proved that Awami League is the party of the people. "Trust and confidence of people are our only assets and that’s our only source of power."
The prime minister said the government has to face the calamities like Covid-19, cyclone Amphan, flood and riverbank erosions on one hand and it had to run the economy, stay beside people, change their fate and give them a better life on the other. "And we’re working on that, we are trying our heart and soul."
Hasina asked the party leaders to continue their communication with the field-level leaders and workers. "Give the people of the country the confidence that AL is beside them… We’ll be there with people as AL always works for people.”