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Dhaka Tribune

ED: Information is more vital than ever

This is the time when people deserve reliable information

Update : 11 Aug 2020, 10:22 PM

Despite what people may believe in the wake of the country essentially opening up, the Covid-19 pandemic is still very much present. People continue to die and be affected daily, and as such, the latest information on the pandemic remains vital.

To that end, it is disappointing to learn that the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) -- under the instruction of the Health Ministry -- is going to end its daily Covid-19 bulletin.

The reasoning, that the bulletin is not required as the situation in the country appears to be getting better, is inadequate at best, and potentially dangerous, and achieves little in reassuring the general public that the situation is under control.

The DGHS -- and by extension the Health Ministry -- has repeatedly and rightfully come under fire during the pandemic period for how they have handled the situation. From limiting testing, concerns about mismanagement and corruption, and remaining tight-lipped and refusing to be transparent with the media and the people of Bangladesh, their decisions have mostly gone against what other experts have called for.

This latest decision is yet another example of once again failing to listen to experts, who have expressed concern over limiting information at a time when, post-Eid-ul-Azha, Bangladesh could very well see a rise in the number of infections.

This is the time when people deserve reliable information, and in its absence, disinformation threatens to fill that vacuum, creating more panic and worry. As such, the DGHS and the Health Ministry would do well to remain transparent and communicative with the press and the people and reassure them with facts and figures, not vague words.

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