Engaging single organisation in buying vaccines a ‘suicidal’ move: BNP

Voicing concerns over the Covid vaccine crisis in the country, BNP on Monday said the government’s decision to procure it by a single organisation from a single source was ‘suicidal’.

“Our standing committee expressed deep concerns and anger over the uncertainty of Covid vaccine availability due to failure of and corruption by the government and importer Beximco Group,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

Speaking at a virtual press conference to convey the decisions of the party standing committee meeting held on Saturday, he said, “BNP warned earlier that the decision of giving the responsibility to a single organisation to collect vaccines from a single source could be suicidal.”

He also said the government has committed a criminal offence by giving a pro-ruling party business organisation the responsibility to procure the vaccine without thinking about the interests of people. “They (govt) will have to face trial in the future for this criminal act.”

Fakhrul also said their party thinks the government should quit for committing the crime over the vaccine procurement and its failure to ensure the jabs for people. “Amid such a big global pandemic and catastrophe, the government is just making wrong decisions, and the financial relation is behind all this. As a result, people are now not getting the vaccine.”

The BNP leader said the country needs to attain herd immunity by vaccinating 12. 5 core people. “But the government has put the entire nation in danger with its incompetence, failure, corruption and profit-making mentality.”

He said though the Serum Institute of India was paid Tk 1.5 crore vaccine in advance, the country has so far received 70 lakh jabs only.

Fakhrul said the government has stopped giving the first dose of vaccine as the Serum Institute expressed unwillingness to provide the rest of the vaccine jabs due to the Indian government's ban on vaccine export.

He said their standing committee thinks the government should reach an understanding with the Indian government for getting the vaccine as per the agreement and payment.

Fakhrul said the government also can take legal action at the international level if it fails to reach a negotiation with the Indian government and Serum Institute over receiving the vaccine.

He alleged that the poor, low-income people and day-labourers have been going through a tough time as the government has not given them any financial support during the ongoing lockdown.

The BNP leader demanded the government immediately announce an incentive package for them to ease their sufferings.

Fakhrul alleged that a vested quarter has been carrying out false propaganda by creating ‘fake’ Facebook accounts in the name of top BNP leaders and Zia family members. “We strongly condemn it.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh