Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said that the government would procure vaccines at any cost to protect people from coronavirus.
‘We’re bringing more vaccines, no matter how much money is required, we’ll bring more vaccines,’ she said.
The prime minister said this while providing cash support of Tk 2,500 to each 36.5 lakh low-income families engaged in different occupations so that they could survive amid the pandemic.
She inaugurated the disbursement of the financial assistance for these marginalised families joining it from her official residence Ganabhaban virtually with deputy commissioners’ offices of Bhola, Joypurhat and Chattogram.
Each family will directly receive Tk 2,500 through government-to-person as the cash will be sent through mobile financial services — Nagad, bKash, Rocket and SureCash.
The prime minister said that the government was carrying out its vaccination programme as it would provide vaccine doses to the people of this country.
Stressing that the government will put in its all-out efforts as long as it is there, Sheikh Hasina said, ‘We’re procuring each dose of the vaccine spending money, but providing it free so that people can stay safe.’
Hasina urged all to follow the health guidelines strictly for securing him/herself and others from Covid-19, no matter whether they have taken the vaccine shot or not.
Later, the prime minister talked to a cross-section of people, including the beneficiaries of the cash support programme of Bhola, Joypurhat and Chattogram.
An amount of over Tk 1,500 crore has been allocated to ease the sufferings of the marginalised people during the second wave of coronavirus. Soon after the second wave of the virus came in sight, the prime minister instantly directed to start the activities of humanitarian assistance.
Since April 14 last when the Covid restrictions were enforced, marginalised people like temporary jobless people, destitute, day-labourers, rickshaw- and van-pullers, transport workers, transgender people and beggars living in urban and rural areas.
As per the PM’s directive, the disaster management and relief ministry instantly sent Tk 590 crore to field-level administrations to provide support to the needy people and the disbursement of the money continues, officials said.
Besides, the prime minister allocated Tk 10.5 crore against the deputy commissioners from her relief and welfare fund to provide emergency assistance to the poor and destitute, they said.
The prime minister at her own initiative has provided Tk 10 crore to the Journalist Welfare Trust as assistance for the journalists who are facing hardships due to the fallout of the pandemic.
The prime minister said those returning home from abroad must be there in quarantine as per the health guidelines in their own interest to protect their family members.
‘Many people coming from abroad don’t want to stay in quarantine, even they misbehave with people (who requested them to go on quarantine)… there’s nothing to gain for them (homebound people) in spreading the virus…they’ve to remain in quarantine for some days,’ she said.
Talking about the suspension of public transport, Hasina said the transport workers are in trouble and the government is taking steps for some stimulus and assistance for them.
In this connection, she said that the coronavirus free districts could ply public transport within their peripheries, but the infected district could not ply public transport that would go to another district. ‘You’ve to remain cautious in this regard,’ she urged people.
Regarding medical services to fight the Covid outbreak, she said that the government was providing the necessary facilities like oxygen and ICU beds in big districts so that coronavirus infected-people could take treatment there.
She also briefly described various social safety net programmes of the government to help the people of the country during the pandemic.
The prime minister urged the affluent section of the country to come forward to standing beside the destitute.
Replying to the criticisms of BNP, she said when Awami League was in the opposition it had always stood beside people as it is doing now being there in the government to help them in any calamity. ‘Where are they (BNP) now at this time of disaster.’
She mentioned that the politics of Awami League is always for the people of the country and its welfare. ‘We never forget it and that’s why we always think that working for people as the most important work for us…we’re working towards that and our political philosophy is to work for people.’
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