Sheikh Hasina made the statement while launching cash disbursement among pandemic-hit people
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday reaffirmed that the government will procure vaccines at any cost to protect people from coronavirus.
"We are bringing more vaccines, no matter how much money is required; we will bring more vaccines," she said.
The prime minister said this while providing cash support of Tk2,500 to each 3.65 million low-income families engaged in different occupations so that they can survive amid the pandemic.
She inaugurated the disbursement of the financial assistance for these marginalized families joining it from her official residence Ganabhaban virtually with the deputy commissioners’ offices of Bhola, Joypurhat and Chittagong.
Each family will directly receive Tk2,500 through G2P (government-to-person) payments as the cash will be sent through mobile financial services (MFS) — Nagad, bKash, Rocket and SureCash.
The prime minister said the government is carrying out its vaccination program as it will provide vaccine doses to the people of this country.
Stressing that the government will put in all-out efforts as long as it is there, Sheikh Hasina said: "We are procuring each dose of the vaccine spending money, but providing it for free so that people can stay safe."
Hasina urged all to follow health guidelines strictly for securing him/herself and others from the deadly Covid-19, no matter whether they have taken the vaccine shot or not.
Later, the prime minister talked to a cross-section of people, including the beneficiaries of the cash support program of Bhola, Joypurhat and Chittagong districts.
An amount of over Tk1,500 crore has been allocated to ease the sufferings of the marginalized people during the second wave of coronavirus. Soon after the second wave of the virus came in sight, the prime minister instantly directed to start the activities of humanitarian assistance.
As per her directive, the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry instantly sent Tk590 crore to field-level administrations to provide support to the needy people and the disbursement of the money continues, officials said.
Besides, the prime minister allocated Tk10.5 crore against the deputy commissioners from her relief and welfare fund to provide emergency assistance to the poor and destitute, they said.
The prime minister at her own initiative has provided Tk10 crore to the Journalist Welfare Trust as assistance for the journalists who are facing hardships due to the fallout of the pandemic.
The prime minister said those returning home from abroad must be under quarantine as per the health guidelines for their own good, to protect their family members.
“Many people coming from abroad do not want to stay in quarantine, they even misbehave with people [who requested them to go under quarantine] … they have nothing to gain [homebound people] by spreading the virus … they have to remain in quarantine for some days," she said.
Talking about the suspension of public transportation, she said transport workers are in trouble and the government is taking steps for some stimulus and assistance for them.
In this regard, she said coronavirus-free districts can operate public transports within their peripheries, but transports from infected districts cannot go to another district. "You have to remain cautious in this regard."
Regarding medical services to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, she said the government is providing necessary facilities like oxygen and ICU beds in the big districts so that coronavirus-infected people get take treatment there.
She also briefly described various social safety net programs of the government to help the people of the country during the pandemic.
The prime minister urged the affluent section of the country to come forward to stand beside the destitute.
Replying to the criticisms of the BNP, she said when the Awami League was in the opposition, it had always stood beside the people as it is doing now while in power to help them during any calamity. "Where are they [the BNP] now at this time of disaster."
She mentioned that the politics of the Awami League is always for the people of the country and its welfare. "We never forget it and that is why we always think that working for the people is the most important work for us … we are working towards that and our political philosophy is to work for the people."