The probe committee report suggested taking action against the officials who received the products labelled as N95 masks
JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing Ltd delivered research stage N95 labelled masks instead of a general mask demanded by the Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD).
These masks were made from unauthorised imported material.
The probe committee formed to investigate the allegations of substandard mask supply gave its findings.
Several state-run hospitals were supposed to receive N95 masks instead of the ordinary ones.
The committee submitted its report to the Health Services Division on April 27.
Since then health ministry officials have remained tight-lipped whenever asked about the report findings.
However, the probe committee report suggested taking action against the officials who received the products labelled as N95 masks without informing the CMSD director.
It also suggested increasing the number of expert personnel in the CMSD who deal with the demand and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The report also maintained that one needs to be alert when permitting the production and marketing of the N95 mask.
During the first week of April, a social media storm erupted with allegations of supply of substandard masks to several state-run hospitals instead of N95 masks.
Senior health ministry officials came under criticism as they were trying to term the whole controversy as a "mistake," without doing any investigation.
On April 20, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a video conference expressed annoyance over the controversy and ordered a probe into the matter.
The Health Services Division formed a probe committee that very day to investigate the allegations.
M Saidur Rahman, additional secretary (development) to the Health Services Division, headed the committee.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Deputy Director M Aminur Rahman and the Health Services Division Deputy Secretary Hasan Mahmud were also included in it as members.
The committee also co-opted the DGHS Director Dr Mohammad Samiul Islam, and the Health Service Division Joint Secretary Md Saifullah Hil Azam.
The committee was asked to submit its report within three days. But taking a week more, it submitted the report to the secretary of the Health Services Division on April 29.
The committee sought clarification from the CMSD director about its mask procurement, says the report.
The CMSD, the government body that sources medical supplies, stated that it requested JMI to supply 50,000 face masks.
But it supplied 20,610 general masks packed as N95 in two batches.
While receiving the second batch of supplies, the CMSD store officials reported to their director that they doubted the quality of the masks.
Then the CMSD director served a show-cause notice on JMI. And the supplier took the masks back.
However, Saidur Rahman, head of the probe committee, refused to make any comment about the report. "We submitted our findings and recommendations to the concerned authorities."
"They know better about the implementation status of the recommendations."
Also, Habibur Rahman Khan, additional secretary of the health ministry and focal person of its media cell, said, "The probe committee submitted its report to the secretary of the Health Services Division. As it is not published yet, I cannot comment."
Transparency International Bangladesh's Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, "I think the receivers cannot be blamed only. The supervisors cannot avoid responsibility either."
"And the company that supplied research phase N95 masks, produced with unauthorised imported material, should be punished."
"People also have the right to know about the steps that the government took against the allegations. But we have not heard about any action based on the probe committee report."
However, the Anti-Corruption Commission will probe the allegation of corruption in the purchase of N95 masks and PPEs.
Stating that the ACC may collect the health ministry's probe report, the ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood said, "We are collecting data from different sources and analysing it."
"Masks or PPE are associated with the safety of physicians, nurses or healthcare workers' lives. So, all these allegations are being taken very seriously and a decision will be taken quickly."