Khaleda ‘stable’ after contracting coronavirus, confirms BNP

Sunday, 11 April 2021

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is in a ‘stable’ condition after testing positive for COVID-19, the party has confirmed.

Her sample was sent to the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) on Saturday and the party got the test result on Sunday, said Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

A team of doctors led by her personal physician Prof FM Siddiqui were treating her at her home in Gulshan, according to Fakhrul.

“She is stable now, doing well,” he added.

He also said Khaleda’s temperature was normal and she did not develop symptoms, reports bdnews24.com.

Fakhrul came up with the confirmation in the afternoon at a press briefing at Khaleda’s office after her family and senior BNP leaders said they were unaware of the test report.

The test report from the Directorate General of Health Services or DGHS earlier surfaced on social media.

Maidul Islam, a spokesman for the health ministry, confirmed the authenticity of the report, saying: “The report that has come to us has identified her as coronavirus-positive.”

Confusions arose as Khaleda’s personal physician Dr Mamun claimed that Khaleda had never been tested for the coronavirus in the first place.

The reports of Khaleda taking the test spread after Mamun took a technologist from a private hospital to her residence on Saturday evening.

The party’s press wing also said that Khaleda did not provide any sample for the coronavirus test. It was Dr Mamun who visited her residence for a regular health screening.

The BNP chairperson has been suffering from fever for the past few days, her family said. When asked, the BNP leaders and Khaleda’s family had said they knew nothing about the test results.

A copy of the COVID test with a QR code for Khaleda went viral on Facebook. When scanned, the QR code directs the report to the DGHS website that shares coronavirus test reports.

“This [information] is available in our MIS or medical information services,” said DGHS Director General ABM Khurshid Alam, without providing a direct answer to a question from bdnews24.com on whether Khaleda had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Khaleda has been living in her Gulshan residence since the government suspended her imprisonment order in March 2020.

She had served 25 months out of 17 years of prison sentences in two graft cases, involving Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust.