Medical &Health

Zahid trashes TIB Covid report as non-transparent

Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Monday said Bangladesh has bought corona vaccines at a lower price than other countries.

He made the remarks while briefing journalists about a recent report published by the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) at his ministry.

Expressing his disappointment, Zahid said Transparency International did a non-transparent job by publishing a false report.

He discounted some media reports that said Bangladesh had bought Covid-19 vaccines at the highest cost.

“These are not true,” he firmly said, adding “If the World Health Organisation (WHO) provided the information, these are right.”

He claimed that Bangladesh provided corona vaccines to people at a lower cost compared to other countries.

Rejecting the TIB report, the health minister said any organization can publish its opinion. As a democratic country, Bangladesh always follows the laws. It can take legal action if needed.

He reaffirmed that Bangladesh is globally holding a prestigious position in Covid control and vaccination.

“We have developed our health sector during the Covid pandemic. Our vaccination programmes are much better than many other countries across the globe. We have jabbed 13 crore first doses, 11.60 crore second doses, and 1.19 crore booster doses. Around 96, 87, and 9 per cent of people have been inoculated in the first, second, and booster doses, respectively. So the country’s image has brightened.”

The minister claimed that the expenses of corona treatment are the same at the private and public hospitals.

“Private hospitals have provided treatment following our guidelines. Many doctors and nurses have sacrificed their lives for the patients during the corona pandemic. All have to be conscious of the image of the country,” he said.

Bangladesh, he noted, is now a role model to the world in Covid control. Prime minister has been hailed as a vaccination champion.

Ruling out bribery on vaccination, he said the TIB report in this regard is baseless.

The health minister said, at first the government bought Covid vaccines from India. Then vaccines came from China under Government to Government (G2G) contract.

Bangladesh got Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca vaccines free of cost, he said.

country had received free vaccines worth Tk 40 thousand crores and spent only Tk 20 thousand crores for vaccine purposes. There is no scope for corruption, he claimed.

He further said the country faced an ICU crisis. But that had been settled amid the corona pandemic.

The ventilator is not a solution, he said, adding all ventilators were almost vacant.

Zahid said the TIB report mentioned 7.8 per cent of Covid-19 patients died without treatment in Bangladesh and there was no medicine. The real scenario is medicines were available in the country and mentioned death toll is imaginary.