Fear of mosquitoes keeping Kamal away from Planning Commission

Published: July 18, 2019 21:31:03 | Updated: July 19, 2019 13:46:01

Getting bitten by mosquito is quite common in Dhaka, but having been diagnosed with dengue after being affected by chikungunya, AHM Mustafa Kamal says he is afraid of the disease-bearing insects.

The finance minister missed the presentation of his maiden budget and the post-budget press conference because of dengue when the disease started spreading this year.

So, he is not going to the Planning Commission at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital as he is wary of more risks of mosquito attack there, reports bdnews24.com.

“I will do office at two places (planning ministry and finance ministry) from now on,” Kamal, who is also a former planning minister, told reporters at his Secretariat office on Thursday on being asked about his plans. 

“But there (at Planning Commission) are much more mosquitoes. I have been bitten twice – once affected by chikungunya and then dengue. Is it something we hear every day?”

“I am not going there anymore out of fear. (Though) it took two hours to come here today,” he said.

Kamal continued doing office at the Planning Commission, where he sat for five years as the planning minister, after he had been given the charge of the finance ministry following the ruling Awami League’s election victory.

Kamal, 72, said he has fully recovered from dengue.

”There is no problem. I am well now. The eye problem is also gone as I’ve started using glasses,” he said.

The minister was hospitalised a day before he was scheduled to present the national budget for 2019-20.

He started presenting the budget, but struggled to continue. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to his rescue and took over at one stage.

She also appeared at the post-budget press conference and said Kamal was suffering from dengue.

Until Wednesday, at least 19 people died from dengue in Dhaka this year, according to doctors and relatives of patients.

The High Court on Wednesday ordered the city authorities to take legal action against those importing, supplying and purchasing insecticide that is failing to control or destroy dengue-bearing Aedes mosquitos.

The authorities were also directed to import and spray effective insecticide without delay to stop the spread of the mosquito-borne fever.

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