Brigadier General Md Shahidullah, who had been recently removed as the director of Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD) amid an N95 mask scam, has died from the coronavirus infection.
He passed away at the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka on Saturday afternoon, Bangladesh Medical Association said in a statement.
Shahidullah was a student of the 20th batch at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College, reports bdnews24.com.
He was the 68th physician by training to die from the COVID-19 disease or with symptoms in Bangladesh, according to the BMA.
CMSD came under scrutiny when the mask scam involving JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing Ltd began to unfold by the end of March.
The masks, supplied by JMI via CMSD, were surgical ones, though the packets had the label of “N95”, which created confusion among the doctors.
When Mugda General Hospital reported the issue to the authorities, Brig Gen Shahidullah in a media briefing on Apr 2 confessed that the delivered masks were ordinary surgical masks and said the packets were labelled N95 “by mistake”.
Over two weeks later, Shahidullah threatened to sue news publishers for “wrongly” naming Health Minister Zahid Maleque, his son, the then health services secretary Md Ashadul Islam, and health services DG Abul Kalam Azad in reports on the masks.
The fiasco also drew the ire of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who ordered the Directorate General of Health Services and CMSD to carefully monitor the supplies of protective equipment to hospitals.
The government subsequently launched an investigation into the matter while removing the director of Dhaka Mugda Medical College Hospital from active duty seven months before the end of his term.
The government removed Shahidullah from the CMSD on May 23 and he was assigned to the Armed Forces Division.
Secretary Ashadul was also transferred later and Azad resigned recently amid other scandals involving fake COVID-19 test reports.