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Politics

Bangladesh dirty money fight complicated by coronavirus twist

Overcharging for essential medical equipment scars Hasina's anti-graft campaign

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in new opportunities for corruption in Bangladesh. (Source photos by Reuters and EPA/Jiji)

DHAKA -- While Bangladesh is depending on global lenders for aid to weather coronavirus-induced health and economic crises, its medical administration remains unusually generous to suppliers of medical equipment and services.

The Directorate General of Health Services, the country's national health agency, quotes prices paid for procurement of medical personnel safety goggles, for example, at $59 a pair, almost five times the equipment's market rate. The same goes for medical gowns, software, website development and audiovisual clips under an emergency coronavirus project.

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