DU gives clarification on two ‘fragmented and misleading’ issues


DHAKA, June 17, 2021 (BSS) – The authorities of Dhaka University have given clarification on two much-talked issues saying the both issues have been disseminated by some vested quarters with bad intentions.

The two issues— Vice Chancellor’s statement glorifying low prices of snacks at TSC cafeteria at an orientation program and DU’s activities responding to the Covid-19 pandemic — have been widely spread and have triggered huge criticism.

“Some evil groups want to turn some misinformation into actual information by repeating it which sometimes misleads the people and even some responsible quarters have also disseminated issues which are very unfortunate,” said a university statement today.

The VC made the statement “You can get a cup of tea along with a piece of chap, singara and samusa for only Tk 10 only at the university cafeteria” while highlighting the low-cost food menu of the cafeteria along with its humane, secular and democratic values, its tradition and culture, and uninterrupted service with equal access to all, said the statement.
“A journalist made a 15-20 second video cutting off the main part of VC’s speech and some words and phrases which later went viral on social media. However, the journalists later, regretted for it and the VC considered it with a forgiving look,” it added.

The other misleading issue “DU did not respond well to the pandemic, started Covid-19 testing too late and despite having more than a dozen RT-PCR machines, the university were sitting lazy during country’s tragic period” was also very intentional and fabricated.
DU Syndicate formed the first “COVID-19 Response Coordination Committee” on March 19, 2020 and formally contacted with the health ministry with some specific proposals of collaboration without any delay.

The university did not have any dedicated hospitals, lab or trained manpower for Covid-19 test and there were 3 RT-PCR machines for conducting regular research activities while the other conventional PCR machines were not suitable for Covid-19 tests.

However, with all the limitations, the university with its own initiative set up the Covid-19 Testing Lab, inaugurated on May 5, 2020 by bringing 3 RT-PCR machines from the departments through the committee ensuring biosafety at university’s CARS building.

In the last week of May, the testing activities were temporarily suspended as there was a shortage of manpower to run the lab during the Eid holidays and for some student volunteers became infected with corona. The lab was later resumed after ten days.

However, the issues of manpower and contamination got disappeared but the issue of money synthesis comes to the fore, it furthered.
“Genome sequencing of viruses was also done in this lab. It is to be noted that the Dhaka University Covid-19 Testing Lab is at the forefront in terms of quality of Covid test and fast results as per the concerned officials of the Department of Health,” it added.
The university could not develop vaccines / drugs or test kits like Oxford or John Hopkins University for its limitations of manpower and resources, it said.

Mentioning a recently published item of the Daily Star featuring DU’s response to Covid-19, they urged all to abstain from misleading information and to uphold the image of DU, adding that “Some vested quarters have been trying to tarnish the image of the university and its vice chancellor for a long.”