BNP on Saturday demanded immediate cancellation of coronavirus test fee set by the government as the party thinks it has been imposed only to discourage people from undergoing tests.
“The government has adopted the role of blood sucking like vampire by fixing Tk 200 as corona test fee. It’s now become clear that the government has taken the step to discourage people from undergoing testd,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.He said it is the responsibility of the state to conduct free coronavirus tests on its own initiative in public interest. “We call upon the government to immediately take steps for conducting free corona testa canceling the recently fixed fee.”
The BNP leader made the demand at a virtual press briefing arranged from the party’s Nayapaltan central office.
On Monday last, the government fixed the coronavirus test fee in an effort to avoid unnecessary tests of Covid-19.
According to it, anyone who wants to conduct a test from government hospitals or Covid-19 dedicated booths have to pay Tk 200 while Tk 500 if samples collected from the home of a patient suspected to be infected with the virus.
Opposing the government’s decision, Rizvi said no government in the world officially charge fee for the Covid-19 test. “The free Covid test is being conducted in Afghanistan and all other neighbouring countries. Even, this test is free in Burkina Faso, the world's poorest country in West Africa.”
He alleged that the government is trying to use the corona pandemic as an opportunity to make money. “The government has exposed how much inhuman and worst regime it is by imposing fee on coronavirus test. Many low-income people are unable to undergo corona test even though they have symptoms.”The BNP leader called upon the government to extend the corona sample testing facility to district and upazila levels across the country.
He said most private hospitals are not doing Covid tests at the rate of TK 3,500 set by the government for lack of monitoring.
“Private hospitals are charging Tk 5,000-6000 for the test as the government is not trying to control them.
The Health Ministry’s main focus is on corruption and plundering instead of serving people at this bad time of pandemic,” Rizvi alleged.