Gonoshasthaya Kendra Founder and Trustee Zafrullah Chowdhury has said the government has no right to waste public money.
"There is no point in racing for the vaccine [the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot] until it appears to be effective," Zafrullah told a rally protesting "anarchy and corruption in the health sector and frequent medicine price hikes," in front of the Jatiya Press Club Friday.
Referring to a foreign journal report, he stated that the race for vaccines will benefit businessmen, not public health.
"If you [the government] had not signed the agreement with Beximco for vaccine imports but had approached directly, then the shots would have each cost $2 less," he said.
Zafrullah believes if the government complies with the rules and regulations properly, current prices of commodities and medicines will reduce by half within just 15 days.
He complained that intermediaries have been profiting from the price hikes.
Addressing the Islamists who have been protesting sculptures, the Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder said, "Come to the movement for democracy instead of getting involved in unnecessary debates. There is no democracy in the country, commodity prices are not reducing and the rule of law is not being established."
"Do not dance to the government's tune. The outcome will be nothing other than harming yourselves," he continued.
The Bangladesh Labour Party organised the rally which was also addressed by the party chairman Mustafizur Rahman Iran, BNP leader Taimur Alam Khandaker and Aparna Roy.
Since the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) banned any procession all meetings without permission, cops foiled several gatherings in front of the press club. However, the Labour Party held the rally saying it would be organised on a "limited scale."
Shahbagh police Patrol Inspector Sheikh Abul Bashar told The Business Standard that the DMP had instructed that no rallies could be held in the metropolitan area without prior permission. Therefore, no programme will be allowed to be held on press club premises until further notice.