The BNP chairperson’s younger brother met the home minister on Wednesday seeking permission to send her abroad for advanced medical care
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday urged the government to allow their party chief Khaleda Zia to go abroad for advanced treatment on humanitarian grounds as she has been suffering from post-Covid-19 complications.
“Post-Covid-19 complications sometimes go into different directions. She is an elderly person with many underlying health complications … that is why most people in our country want her to receive treatment at an advanced hospital,” he said.
Speaking at a program at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, the BNP leader said: "Her (Khaleda’s) family sought permission yesterday (Thursday) to send her abroad for advanced treatment. We hope the government will take steps for her treatment abroad on humanitarian grounds.”
The program was arranged to provide Eid gifts to the family members of the BNP leaders and activists who died of Covid-19 across the country, on behalf of party Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman. Party leaders said at least 425 BNP leaders and activists have so far died due to coronavirus infection.
Fakhrul said Khaleda Zia has been receiving treatment at Evercare Hospital in the capital since April 27 and doctors are providing her treatment sincerely there. But, he said, she should be given treatment in an advanced hospital abroad considering her underlying health conditions.
On Wednesday night, Khaleda’s younger brother Shamim Iskander met Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan at his Dhanmondi residence and submitted an application seeking permission to send her abroad for advanced treatment.
The 76-year-old BNP chief, who tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time on April 24, was admitted to Evercare Hospital on April 27 for a thorough health check-up.
She was shifted to the CCU of the hospital with shortness of breath around 4pm on Monday. Her breathing problem later eased.
On April 28, a 10-member medical board, headed by Prof Shahabuddin Talukder, was formed for the treatment of Khaleda at Evercare Hospital a day after her admission there.
Khaleda Zia tested positive for Covid-19 on April 10 as eight people at her residence were infected with the virus. She underwent the second Covid-19 test on April 24 and her report was positive.
Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the government freed Khaleda Zia from jail for six months through an executive order suspending her sentences on March 25 last year.
She was released from the prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) the same day and she has been staying at her Gulshan house since then.
On August 27 last year, the government extended her release for six more months and it was extended again for six months on March 15.
On February 8, 2018, Khaleda was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. The High Court later doubled her jail term.
Khaleda was found guilty in another corruption case the same year. Her party claims both the cases are politically motivated.
Prayers for Khaleda
Meanwhile, Mirza Fakhrul announced that their party leaders and activists will arrange prayers in mosques across the country after Jummah prayers on Friday seeking divine blessings for her speedy recovery.
Besides, he said, prayer sessions will also be arranged at places of worship of other religious communities for the BNP chief.