Govt shows ‘zero tolerance’ to relief misappropriation: Quader

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Dhaka, May 12: Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday said the government has taken ‘zero tolerance’ policy against irregularities in relief distribution.“The government has already taken legal and administrative actions against all kinds of irregularities (in relief distribution). Actions are also being taken from the party. None is getting spared as the government has taken a firm stance to this end,” he said.

Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, was speaking at a virtual press conference on the contemporary affairs from his official residence here.

He said stimulus packages involving around Taka one lakh crore was announced to help the people tackle the ongoing coronavirus crisis and cash assistance has been provided to about 50 lakh people, which is unprecedented in the contemporary world.

Highlighting the country’s COVID-19 scenario, he said Bangladesh ranked 34th among the world’s 212 coronavirus affected countries.

Noting that Bangladesh is in a better position than its neighbouring India and Pakistan, the AL general secretary said yet the coronavirus situation is deteriorating in the country day by day.

“Prevention is the best way to protect people from coronavirus infection. There is no alternative to maintaining social distancing and following health guidelines,” he said.

Quader said the government eased the general holidays in limited scale considering the live and livelihood of the jobless and hapless people.

“But we are observing that health guidelines are not being followed and social distancing is not being maintained in shopping centres, ferry ghats and garment factories,” he added.

Negligence may cause havoc for the country’s people, the AL general secretary said, calling upon all to remain alert against coronavirus infection.

Referring to the government’s measures to prevent coronavirus, he said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is regularly giving advice to people so that they can protect themselves from coronavirus inflection.

“She (the premier) is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation.

Overcoming our limitations, we have increased our capacity to tackle coronavirus,” the road transport and bridges minister said.

He requested the people to be careful about their safety and security, responding to the call of the prime minister.

Asking all not to go to markets and shopping malls ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr, Quader said: “Those who are going to shopping malls are at high risk of coronavirus infection. Use technology and buy your products from online shops…nowadays the online shopping is getting popular.”

He stressed the need for opening private clinics and chambers of physicians for general patients.

“General patients are getting deprived of treatment due to coronavirus outbreak. That’s why I am urging doctors to provide treatment to these patients at their private chambers, following health guidelines and ensuring their safety,” the AL general secretary said.