Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK) founder and trustee board member Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury has claimed that the government serves only the interest of businesspeople, and this is why instead of approving GK's Covid-19 antibody and antigen kit, it gave approval to import them.
The government made the move for business purposes, he added, while addressing a programme held to honour frontline warriors of the Covid-19 crisis at the Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital in Dhaka on Tuesday, said a press release.
The event was also held simultaneously at 30 centres of the organisation across the country. Gonoshasthaya Kendra's Press Adviser Jahangir Alam Mintoo moderated the event in Dhaka, while Director Mohammad Shawkat Ali gave the inaugural speech.
Dr Zafrullah, also a freedom fighter, further said, "The Gonoshasthaya Kendra will not apply for approval of the Covid-19 testing kit again. But if the government gives the approval, GK will supply the kits.
"The government is still following an incorrect policy, because they did not approve the trial of the novel coronavirus vaccine in time."
"The Gonoshasthaya Kendra lost Tk10 crore for developing the testing kit, but the government did not approve it. The decision was made to serve just the interests of businesses. The government gave approval for importing the kits because it is business-focused."
Responding to a question, Dr Zafrullah said, "The development of Bangladesh's healthcare system is possible only by a democratic government elected through neutral and interim elections.
"During a health disaster, the doctors, nurses and others professionals will definitely face health risks, just as during a war people could die. But the government should provide adequate support for the healthcare professionals."
He added that those who lost their lives during the crisis should be remembered as national heroes.
At the programme, several hundred people, including Gonoshasthaya Kendra's doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, paid their tribute to frontline warriors by clapping hands for one minute.