Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has observed the lack of transparency in dealing with Covid-19 crisis in the country.
A report of the TIB titled 'Governance Challenges in Tackling Corona Virus' finds the tendency to cover up irregularities, corruption and mismanagement through restrictions on disclosure of information and bringing the whistle-blowers under accountability in a way that encourages corruptions in various ways.
The research was conducted to identify the governance challenges in different initiatives undertaken by the government in tackling corona virus situation before and after its spread using mixed methodological (qualitative and quantitative) research techniques.
So far sixty-seven cases were filed against 37 journalists for disseminating news of theft and embezzlement in relief distribution in different parts of the country.
The TIB report finds negligence in providing services to corona patients, which includes not providing treatments, physicians and nurses' unwillingness to see the patients, leaving food packets outside the doors of corona wards, not cleaning patients' rooms, not providing oxygen supply in time and keeping both male and female patients in the same isolation room. Such negligence was found in 23.1 per cent of the hospitals, according to the report.
Besides, health workers' health risks and crisis in medical management have increased due to the irresponsibility and corruptions in the supply of protection materials.
The report also observes corruptions in the purchase of medical equipment supplies and lack of transparency in the procurement process. Protection materials were supplied with much higher costs due to the excessive control over all kinds of procurement in the name of different firms by a syndicate.
The government has failed to take adequate preparations even after getting three months, says the report.
Due to the lack of widespread social participation and proper information dissemination, the government has also failed to create public awareness, which has made the lockdown ineffective, according to the report.