The High Court has ordered a judicial inquiry into the authorities' failure to contain mosquito-borne dengue and chikungunya outbreak this year.
A Dhaka district magistrate and a joint secretary of the local government ministry have been ordered to carry out the probe.
The bench of Justice Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir gave the order on Wednesday (Nov 6).
The court has ordered the committee comprising of experts including specialists from Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University, officials of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) and the public health division to submit the report by Jan 15 next year.
The HC said that if required, the committee can seek opinions from other specialists.
Deputy Attorney General Barrister Kazi Mainul Hasan who argued for the state informed the court that as of Nov 6 this year, 112 people have died of the mosquito-borne virus.
On Nov 6, the HC ordered the attorney general’s office to contact the health ministry and submit within Nov 11 the information on how many people have died of dengue.
The two Dhaka city corporations were also told to submit the progress report on eradicating the virus by that date.
On Jul 14, the HC ordered the authorities concerned including the mayors and Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) chief to notify what steps have been taken to prevent dengue and chikungunya.
The court also issued a rule asking why the respondent’s laxity in preventing diseases like dengue and chikungunya should not be declared illegal.
On Jul 22, the city corporations have submitted the reports but the HC was dissatisfied with it and summoned the two chief executives who provided explanation on Jul 25.
Following the explanation, the court ordered the destruction of Aedes mosquito breeding grounds and spraying mosquito repellents across the country.