The Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) has on Wednesday demanded an immediate withdrawal of the decision of charging fees for COVID-19 sample testing in the government-run healthcare facilities.
The decision of imposing fee in a time when the infection is showing a rising trend is nothing but discriminatory, inhumane, mischievous and suicidal, TIB said in a statement.
“On the other hand, it is important to increase the sample testing number and capacity as measures to fight the virus in the country,” the anti-corruption watchdog said.
There is sharp fall in the sample testing and down trend in the number of virus detection after the enactment of the government decision of imposing charge on it which ultimately exposed more vulnerability towards infection, the statement added.
TIB executive director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said, “Amid rising cases of Covid-19 in the country, the health ministry has decided to charge for sample testing on June 30. Because of the reckless decision, it is not abnormal to raise the question against the intention whether the government is discouraging the people from examining sample in such a crisis.”
Treating the move as discriminatory and inhumane for the country's poor community, he said, "the fees may seem to be little for those who have made this decision; but for those who even can't afford regular meals, it’s a huge burden for them to go for test.
Besides, “it is important to consider whether the decision has been taken to discourage poor and low-income people from getting their sample to be tested. And, such discriminatory and inhumane decisions are unacceptable,” he added.