Eminent citizens ask govt to reveal real picture of coronavirus deaths

A total of 85 eminent citizens of Bangladesh have asked the government to reveal the real picture of affected people and deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday, they said the information provided by Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) does not match with the experience of people.

The signatories include politician and writer Badruddin Umar, photographer Shahidul Alam, Biplobi Workers Party general secretary Saiful Haque, former teacher of Dhaka University Akmal Hossain, Jahangirnagar University professor Anu Muhammad, women rights activist Farida Akhter, DU teachers Fahmidul Haq and Robaet Ferdous, and lawyer Sara Hossain.

People have started to doubt and question the IEDCR information as people’s experience contradicts with its data, the statement said.

The update provided at IEDCR’s regular briefing is contradictory with the media reports, it added.

They also said that there is no scope to crosscheck information and seek explanation at the press briefing which undermines transparency and accountability.

They added that there are instances of great incongruity in information about casualty and loss between the version of government and non-government sources in natural calamities and it can recur in terms of coronavirus.

They also expressed concerns over several incidents where hospitals refused to admit patients.

The statement also said that there is a possibility of higher death toll and COVID-19 infection than those were provided by the authorities.

They also fear that the number of deaths is likely to increase due to the weak healthcare system.

The signatories urged the government to disclose the real picture with transparency.

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