Rawnak Mahmud, secretary of Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, has reportedly assigned 24 officials and staff, including a deputy secretary of the ministry, to attend his ailing mother, who is undergoing treatment at National Heart Institute due to Covid-19 infection.
According to a duty roster, which was used by different media outlets last night, the official were divided into four shifts for three days. Rawnak's private secretary Azizul Islam is supposed to coordinate the roster duties.
As per the instruction, the overall condition of the secretary's mother should be reported to secretary's PS at all times, contact the doctor, arrangement for test and collect test report quickly and send a copy of the report to PS on WhatsApp.
Hygiene rules must be followed near the patient, the patient's attendant must be notified of the presence of officers, said the directives.
The Business Standard tried to reach the ministry secretary. But he did not reply to the messages.
Later TBS contacted his private secretary Azizul Islam. Denying the allegation, Azizul Islam said that the secretary's mother is 95 years old. They have many relatives and close people in Dhaka. They are all crowding at the hospital. The official staff of the secretary's office, many officials of the ministry wanted to visit the secretary's ailing mother. The secretary told them that if anyone wanted to go, they should go one by one. They should not crowd all together in the hospital.
Regarding the instructions on roster duty, he said the letter does not have any official number and signature. Anyone can make such a paper. It was not issued by the ministry.
An office assistant , who was on duty on Monday, said on wishing anonymity that he has performed his assigned duty from 6am.
Another official, who was supposed to be on duty today, said that ministry's authority asked them to do the hospital duty. But after yesterday night's news on different media outlets, the ministry backtracked from its decision.
None is on hospital duty now, he added.
Meanwhile, during a visit to the hospital on Tuesday morning, it was found that there were 4-5 persons with the patient. However, they did not disclosed their identity whether they are from ministry or relatives.
Hospital guard said, more than 20 people crowded at the hospital for the patient yesterday. But today, there are few people attending her.