Dhaka, Apr 7 (PTI) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday issued a stern warning to doctors who denied treating coronavirus patients after five more infected persons died, amid speculation that the country may face a massive hike in COVID-19 cases in the coming days of April.
"I want to know their names...they are incapable of performing as doctors,” she said this while exchanging views on the coronavirus situation with public representatives and government officials from Chittagong and Sylhet.
Hasina said doctors who denied treating patients have no rights to continue their jobs. She also announced special incentives and “health insurance” for doctors, others providing services during the crisis.
She also praised doctors mostly in government hospitals, calling them “frontline soldiers” in the war against coronavirus.
"We want to reward the brave health workers, including doctors, nurses and others who are working day and night to provide health care services to the people in this critical time...and a special health insurance scheme will be introduced for them,” she said.
"(But) those who lack sense of humanity do not deserve incentives."
Her remarks came a day after a 22-year-old postgraduate student of the Institute of Education and Research at Dhaka University (DU) died after some top Dhaka hospitals refused to treat him on suspicion of coronavirus.
Hasina said the license of doctors of those private facilities should be rescinded.
A spokesman of the private hospitals earlier sought incentives claiming the private health facilities provide two thirds of healthcare services in the country while in an apparent response to the call Hasina asked them to prove first their performance in serving distressed humanity.
"Prove your feelings for humanity in the coming few months, only then we will consider incentives for you as well," Hasina said.
Hasina also said that the country may face a massive hike in coronavirus cases in the coming days of April as per the on-going trend across the world.
“We have got some reports, which said there will be a massive hike in Bangladesh. But, do not be worried as we are prepared to overcome the crisis,” she said.
Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research Director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora in her daily briefing said that five more deaths and 41 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours.
“The COVID-19 toll now stands at 17 and cases of infection at 164,” she said as the new cases suggested the highest number of deaths and infections in a day since the first case was detected on March 8 in Bangladesh.
Flora said the fresh cases were detected by testing samples collected from 792 suspects in one day while 20 of the 41 infected people were detected in Dhaka and 15 in Narayanganj, the port city on the outskirts of the capital.
She also said, among the five deceased, four were male and one female. Off them two were above sixty years old, two were between age of 50 to 60, another one was between 40 to 50 years old.
Bangladesh on Monday suspended prayers for the public at mosques across the country in a bid to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs issued an emergency notice restricting the congregation in mosques. The ministry urged the public to pray at home.
Bangladesh on Saturday extended the nationwide transport shutdown till April 11. PTI AR ZH