Senior BNP leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain has urged the government to turn some hospitals into dengue centres on emergency basis so that affected people can receive necessary treatment as soon as possible.
Saying dengue has now become an epidemic, Mosharraf on Wednesday urged the two Dhaka city corporations and the Health Ministry to take coordinated initiatives.
“Aedes mosquito existed before, and it still exists. But we [BNP] did not let dengue become an epidemic when we were in power. We dealt with it through integrated initiatives.
“ There is still time, take concerted initiative and tackle the epidemic,” he told the government.
He also urged the government to import effective medicines immediately to eliminate the growing mosquito menace.
The former health minister’s remarks came at a discussion on the ongoing dengue crisis organized by pro-BNP Doctors Association of Bangladesh (DAB) at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, dengue patients were identified in every district, except Netrokona, of the country. Around 4,408 dengue patients were hospitalized across Bangladesh, with the highest — 3,561 — in Dhaka alone from January 1 till July 30, according to Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
In the 24 hours from Tuesday morning till Wednesday morning, around 1,335 dengue patients were identified in 61 districts. Later in the evening, the DGHS said two more districts – Mymensingh and Rajshahi – had identified dengue patients.
The DGHS said 14 people have died of dengue fever so far. However, the unofficial tally of reported deaths was around 50 till Wednesday evening.
BNP leader Mosharraf on Wednesday also criticized Prime Minister Sheik Hasina as she has been on a long tour of London at a time when the country is facing a serious flooding and a dengue crisis.
“The prime minister has been staying in London without any reason. Had she been the prime minister of a democratic government she couldn’t have stayed aboard after the way flood and dengue situation turned critical,” he said.
He also bemoaned that the health minister is also abroad amid the deteriorating dengue situation.
Mosharraf said the government should urgently engage the doctors of both private and public hospitals in providing dengue patients with necessary treatment as the number of people diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus have marked a sharp rise.