BSS-35 Tk 29,247 cr proposed for health giving priority to COVID-19 pandemic





Tk 29,247 cr proposed for health giving priority to COVID-19 pandemic

DHAKA, June 11, 2020 (BSS) – Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today proposed an allocation of Taka 29,247 crore for health sector in fiscal 2020-21 attaching special focus on COVID-19 pandemic.

While placing the national budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 at the Jatiya Sangsad, he said Taka 25,732 crore was proposed for health sector for the fiscal year 2019-20 while Taka 3,542 crore has increased in the current fiscal year incorporating different COVID-19 issues to fight the deadly virus.

The finance minister said this allocation is proposed for the health and family welfare sector giving a priority to activities undertaken to combat the COVID-19.

It is worth mentioning that currently 13 ministries and divisions are implementing programmes related to health and family welfare, he said, adding the allocation for this purpose in FY 2020-21 is Taka 41,027 crore, which is 1.3 percent of GDP and 7.2 percent of total budget allocations.

“We all are aware that the whole world is in dire stress because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Bangladesh is no exception. Like other countries in the world, public health and public life in Bangladesh is facing challenges because of the pandemic, ” Kamal added.

“Through you, I would like to inform our people that since the first detection of coronavirus infection in Bangladesh in March this year, we have taken adequate preparatory measures to combat COVID-19,” he said.

The finance minister said, “Under the constant and overall guidance of the Prime Minister, we have taken all-out efforts to prevent the disease, contain infections and provide treatment against the disease.”

“No vaccine is invented yet. The WHO guideline of social distancing is the only remedy. By including ‘COVID-19’ into the list of infectious diseases, the whole country has been declared ‘infection risk area’ as per the Infectious Disease (Prevention, Control and Elimination) Act, 2018,” he added.

In mid-March, the government declared closure of all educational institutions and banned all types of public assembly and gathering, as these are the only means to protect the greater sections of the population from infection, Kamal added.

Such closure is considered as the only way to protect people at large from the virus, he said adding the government have declared general holidays across the country in the last week of March, which was continued till May 30.

After the formulation of the ‘National Preparedness and Response Plan’, its implementation has begun in right earnest to safeguard public life by ensuring medical treatment, Kamal said.

Specialised isolation units have been opened in all district and upazila hospitals and health complexes, he said, adding COVID-19 dedicated hospitals have been set-up in district towns to treat coronavirus patients, including 14 dedicated hospitals centrally in the capital.

Highlighting different initiatives to fight COVID-19, he said 55 laboratories have been established for corona detections, and various public health services institutions are being transformed into modern and developed service providing institutions.

“For this purpose, we have given an emergency allocation of Taka 529 crore for the health sector. We have decided to allocate additional funding, and provide incentives and compensation for the health sector to ensure necessary personal safety of service providers engaged in combating COVID-19,” the finance minister said.

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