Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the government has relentlessly been working hard to protect the people of the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve been trying heart and soul to protect the people of our Bangladesh from coronavirus,” she said while receiving donations from different organisations and individuals for PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund through videoconferencing from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Some 24 public and private organisations as well as four individuals provided donations to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund to help the poor affected by COVID-19 fallout.
Representatives of the organisations handed over cheques of donations to PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Prime Minister said since the economic activities got stagnant completely, the government is now relaxing some restrictions to save people.
“We’ve been trying to protect the people of the country. We’ve been working in all fronts including protection of their health, making the economic activities vibrant and providing their social safety,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has been assisting people of all stages. “We’ve taken initiative to provide healthcare services sufficiently and have also been doing so. Free medical treatment is being provided. Though the coronavirus test or treatment is much expensive, we’re doing so,” she said.
She said the government announced special stimulus packages for reviving economic activities so that the industries and the people of all stages can conduct their activities. The total amount of the stimulus packages is 3.7 percent of GDP, she added.
The Prime Minister said massive programmes were taken to celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2020, but the programmes related to public gatherings were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic considering the interest of people.
Sheikh Hasina, also the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said this birth centenary is now being celebrated in digital system.
Noting that her party announced to make the country as ‘Digital Bangladesh’ in its 2008 election manifesto, she said many tasks including providing cash support to the needy people can be done easily now as her government has been able to turn the country as Digital Bangladesh
“Many tasks have become easy. Through online means, we’ve been providing assistance to people, reaching cash money to them, providing them with healthcare services, getting health suggestions, conducting sales-buy, doing business, talking, meeting and chatting with the relatives as well as dear and near ones. It is being possible as the country has become Digital Bangladesh,” she said.
“It might not be possible unless we didn’t make Digital Bangladesh and launch Bangabandhu Satellite, and Bangladesh didn’t come under a network, “she went on.
The Prime Minister on behalf of the people of the country thanked the donors for making the donations.
The organisations that made donations are Liberation War Affairs Ministry, Science and Technology Ministry, Bridges Division, Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, Defence Ministry, Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority, Karnaphuli Fertilizer Company Ltd, Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association, IDLC Finance Ltd, IPDC Finance Ltd, Lanka-Bangla Finance Ltd, Uttara Finance and Investment Ltd, Jessore University of Science and Technology, GMS Composite Knitting Industries Limited and GSM Textile Ltd, Bangladesh Association of Construction Industries, Ansar-VDP Unnayan Bank, Karmasangsthan Bank, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Ali Baba and Jack Ma Foundation, Fashion Globe Group, Anwar Group of Industries, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, Sotsongya (in Hemayetpur, Pabna) and PPS Plastic Pipe Industries Ltd.
The four persons are Awami League Advisory Council Member Muhammad Shahabuddin Chuppu, Obs-Gyn specialist Dr Rafa Islam of Dhanmondi, medical officer of BIRDEM Dr Sonia Zemin Preet, and Lecturer of ZH Shikder Medical College (Mirpur) Dr Sadia Ahmed.