Metropolitan

Dengu outbreak throughout the country

BNP Slams government for failure

Special Correspondent
The BNP has demanded resignation of Health Minister Zahid Maleque and Dhaka Mayors Atiqul Islam and Mohammad Sayeed Khokon for their “failure” to prevent an outbreak of dengue.
Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir raised the demand following a meeting of the party’s policymaking body the National Standing Committee on Monday after the government reported record number of dengue cases.
The ruling Awami League, seeking coordination among Zahid, Atiqul and Khokon, is launching a cleanup drive by activists across Bangladesh to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne disease as it has already spread in all the 64 districts in the country.
“We have been following with frustration and anger that the government has made a mess out of the dengue crisis as the disease has spread like an epidemic across the country,” Mirza Fakhrul said.
He slammed Dhaka North Mayor Atiqul and Dhaka South Mayor Khokon for their foolish comments on the issue instead of taking steps to kill mosquitos,
“They are brushing the crisis aside as rumours one day while admitting that they have failed after trying their best the other day,” the BNP leader said.
“And they are only talking, not working. They have totally failed to kill mosquitos. We demand that they resign taking responsibilities for their failure,” he said.
“We also demand resignation of the health minister for his failure to monitor the situation and take effective measures after it started,” he added.
Mirza Fakhrul said the opposition party has taken up a programme to raise awareness among the people against dengue by distributing leaflets.
A war-like emergency
Earlier, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has advised the government to stop paying heed to all political issues and tackle the dengue outbreak by declaring a “war-like emergency”.
The BNP leader made the suggestions while visiting some dengue patients at the Labaid Hospital in Dhaka on Friday.
All the people are concerned about the risk of contracting dengue virus through mosquito bite, according to Mirza Fakhrul.
“Some of the patients I’ve visited today are in critical condition. I think the government should start working with everyone’s help following advices from all the related people and doctors without wasting any time,” he said.
“A war-like state of emergency should be declared because time is running out,” he added, calling for combined efforts to tackle the situation.
“We think quick steps should be taken after shunning politics to save lives,” Mirza Fakhrul said.
The BNP leader also said the government has “utterly failed in running the country”, citing that the High Court censured the Dhaka city authorities for their failure to control mosquitos that carry dengue and other viruses.
“You must’ve noticed that actually the judiciary is running the country now. Steps are taken only when the court orders,” he said.
Government more infectious: Goyeswar
BNP senior leader Gayeshwar Chandra Roy on Saturday alleged that the current government is more infectious than dengue as it had been involvement with many incidents of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances and repression on women and children.
“The death toll in dengue is much lower than the number of people who’ve been killed, made enforced disappearance and number of women who have been repressed by the government. So, this government is terrible than dengue,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader further said, “Dengue will be controlled at one stage with united efforts of all. But we should think how we’ll be organised to save people from those who’re involved with the incidents of murder, enforced disappearance, oppression on women and child abduction.”
Gayeshwar, a BNP standing committee member, came up with the remarks while speaking at a seminar arranged by Jatiya Manobadhikar Andolon at the Jatiya Press Club.
Describing dengue as a national crisis, he said a coordinated effort is necessary to overcome it.
He also said ades mosquitos can bite anyone if they get chance as they do not know who belongs to Awami League or BNP. “So, this problem should be resolved through united efforts.”
He criticised the two Dhaka city corporations for what he said their failure to tackle mosquito menace due to the import of adulterated insecticide through corruption.
The BNP leader said the dengue situation could not have taken such an alarming turn had the city corporations carried out anti-mosquito drives properly.
Gayeshwar said the remarks of the ministers indicate that the government is not in a good shape. ”The Prime Minister has long been receiving treatment in London. It seems the PM’s condition is worse than the country’s one. Had she been in good position she would have returned home cutting short her trip since people were dying of dengue and facing flood.”
He also wished early recovery of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “She (PM) is suffering from eye problem. We pray to God so that she can see and hear properly. If her eyesight improves, she’ll be able to realise the language of people’s eyes. If her hearing improves, she can hear people’s screams.”
BNP pens consultancy centre
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi has said a terrible situation prevails in the country as dengue has taken an epidemic turn. He said, “At the beginning, the government didn’t give due importance to the dengue menace. Rather they have made fun about it.”
The senior BNP leader was addressing the inaugural function of a dengue consultancy center and hotline at BNP’sNayapaltan central office in the city last week . The program was arranged by the Doctors’ Association of Bangladesh (DAB), an organization of the pro-BNP physicians. The DAB has launched the hotline for dengue-infected people. One can get advices about the dengue fever making call to the mobile no: 01306859664.
Obaidul Kader frustrated
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday expressed his frustration as the party leaders and ward councilors in the cities paid lukewarm response to the anti-dengue campaign.
“There was no need to observe programme for eyewash,” he told a special emergency meeting of the party at the Awami League central office at Bangabandhu Avenue in the city on Tuesday
Reminding that the number of dengue patients is increasing daily in Dhaka, Quader said, “No matter how much we talk about dengue control, it has not yet come under control. This is reality. “
He expressed dissatisfaction with programmes of the party leaders for eyewash at ward level in Dhaka.
He said the Awami League had announced a cleanliness programme across the country under the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Accordingly, programmes have been carried out centrally in three places of Dhaka. But this is not happening in all wards.
Most of the wards did not carry out the cleanliness operation, he said.
Despite the directives of the party President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, only 13 ward councilors took part in the cleanliness drive which angered Quader.
He said, “This is not an expedition to have a photo session in front of the camera today to show the central leaders. We want to see cleanliness operations in every ward in Dhaka City … and the leader wants to know. The leader wants to know how many wards follow the leader’s instructions.”
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader commented that aedes mosquito will not leave anyone including ministers and MPs if the situation continues.
Meanwhile, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday asked the authorities concerned to stop spraying ineffective anti-mosquito chemicals.
“Effective insecticide will arrive in Dhaka within two to four days and in the meantime there’s no need to spray ineffective chemicals just to show off,” he said after attending a cleanliness drive in the city’s Mirpur Mazar Road area , reports UNB.
Police mostly affected by Dengu
About 80% of the thousands diagnosed or previously admitted to the hospital, were police constables who got infected while performing their duties, according to a press relort.
Physicians Rajarbagh Central Police Hospital told the media hat most policemen were infected by dengue at their workplaces.
Hospital authorities around 1,500 police members have been treated for dengue at the hospital so far. Of them, 500 severely affected patients were admitted to the hospital and the over 1,000 Dengu affected police constables could not be admitted to the hospital due to lack of facilities.
BN Nagpal, senior Southeast Asia entomologist for WHO, speaking at a media orientation program on Monday at the DGHS office in Dhaka, said past experience suggests that seized and old vehicle dumping places are a major breeding ground for the Aedes dengue mosquito infecting the police engaged nearby.
“Last year, one SP [superintendent of police] and three constables died from dengue at Dwarka [New Delhi],” he added.
He said construction sites and government buildings are also breeding spots for the dengue carrier Aedes mosquito.
“Two or three police constables should be trained for dengue mosquito surveillance throughout the year. The police should take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing,” he said.
More funds for corporations and municipalities
All city corporations and municipalities of the country including Dhaka will be getting allocation of Tk 51.5 crore for eradicating mosquitoes from their respective areas. Of the amount, the two Dhaka city corporations will get Tk 7.5 crore each.
The Local Government Division (LGD) has given the allocation of Tk 51.5 crore to help the local government bodies serving the people of the urban areas.
While exchanging views with journalists at Secretariat, LGRD Minister Md Tazul Islam made the disclosure about his Ministry initiatives in this regard.
The Minister said that the city corporations of Gazipur, Narayanganj and Chattogram will get Tk 1 crore each from the allocation while other city corporations Tk 50 lakh each and Tk 30 crore was allocated for all the municipalities across the country.
The allocations were given amidst widespread infection of dengue diseases due to Aedes mosquitoes.
Tajul said they are conducting mosquito extermination activities using the experience of Kolkata.
“Kolkata successfully managed to tackle dengue problem by making the people aware. It will be under control, if everyone keeps premises of their residences and offices clean,” he added.
According to DGHS data, a total of 29,912 dengue patients were admitted to hospitals since January 1 while around 29 persons died.
In Bangladesh, dengue usually prevails between March and October.
He said, “We are also working to raise awareness. We have learned a new lesson from Kolkata and have to work round the year.”
Replying to a question, the Minister said they are testing the effectiveness of the insecticide. A committee has been formed to monitor the process.
“We were coordinating with the two Dhaka city corporations and directed them to take effective steps,” he said, adding that the number of Aedes mosquitoes is double this year compared to the previous year. “It’s a new lesson for us. We’re constantly monitoring the situation,” he said.

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