Wondering how the Civil Surgeon’s office in Dhaka could issue a directive asking all concerned not to share information of Covid patients with the media, Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader on Saturday said such an instruction is “contrary to democracy and good governance”.
In a statement, he also said the directive that says the media workers will not get information from any hospital in Dhaka district, except from the civil surgeon’s office, during the pandemic is incompatible with the democratic system. “Free flow of information is an essential precondition to the establishment of democracy and good governance.”
GM Quader, also the deputy opposition leader in parliament, also said. “We’re surprised to see that the directive issued by the Civil Surgeon of Dhaka has not been withdrawn yet though 24 hours have passed by.”
He said the nation depends on the media for getting authentic information during the pandemic while the government, administration, political parties, volunteers and civil society come forward in every difficult time after seeing the media reports.
Besides, the Jatiya Party chief said, there is an apprehension of increasing irregularities and corruption when accurate information are not found in the media.
He feared that rumours and conspiracies will also spread in the absence of free flow of information.
GM Quader said it is important to find out as to why the Dhaka Civil Surgeon wanted to disrupt the normal activities of the media when the Coronavirus infection has been showing an uptrend.
He also said hiding information from the media during such a catastrophic period is not a normal matter. “So, the instruction for not providing information by the Dhaka District Civil Surgeon's office must be withdrawn immediately.”
According to media reports, the office of Dhaka’s Civil Surgeon on Thursday asked doctors working at different hospitals not to comment on or exchange any information about healthcare activities or the disease and patients with the media amid the pandemic.
The Civil Surgeon also urged the media to refrain from taking photos and video footage, or interviewing Covid-19 patients in hospitals.