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11 March, 2020 10:29:48 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 12 March, 2020 03:59:13 PM
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AL, BNP halt all public programmes

coronavirus outbreak
ABU JAKIR, Dhaka
AL, BNP halt all public programmes

Both the Awami League (AL) and the BNP have postponed their political programmes in the wake of detection of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Bangladesh.

The AL had plans to celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in a befitting manner throughout the year, but the party was forced to curtail programmes to avoid mass gathering to prevent the spread of the virus, first reported in China’s Wuhan.

AL insiders said the party high-ups have also deferred its organisational activities due to the coronavirus outbreak. But the party plans to conduct awareness build-up campaign about the deadly virus across the

country.  Similarly, the BNP yesterday postponed its Wednesday’s scheduled countrywide demonstration, seeking party chief Khaleda Zia’s release and chalked out various programmes to create awareness among people to fight COVID-19.

At a press conference, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday declared the party’s programmes for March 17 on the occasion of the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

He said they revised its programme and it will be held on a limited scale to avoid massive public gatherings due to the prevailing situation across the world caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The party had a plan to hold a massive gathering in the capital marking Bangabandhu’s 100th birth anniversary on March 17, where heads of State of different countries were supposed to attend the inaugural session.

Quader said they will now inaugurate the “Mujib Borsho” programme on March 17 by placing wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu and hoisting national and party flags.

Special prayers will be offered at all places of worship across the country, while food will be distributed among the poor and destitute, he said, adding that there will be fireworks displays across the country at 8pm on the day.

“We have decided to avoid programmes where there could be massive gatherings. The Awami League does politics for the welfare of the people,” Quader said.

Talking to this correspondent, AL Organising Secretary Shakhawat Hossain Shafiq said the party has deferred all organisational activities due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

“We have already decided to hold our pending district council sessions across the country after April, though it was supposed to be completed by March. But we will launch campaigning across the country soon to create awareness among the people about coronavirus,” he said.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said yesterday: “We’d earlier announced demonstration programme in all metropolitan cities and district towns on Wednesday, demanding the release of our leader Khaleda Zia. We’re now postponing the programme to avoid the health risk of people at mass gatherings following the spread of coronavirus.”

He urged the party’s leaders and activists to stand by the people to prevent coronavirus.

He also asked them to carry out a mass campaign to make people aware of the disease. “I urge our party leaders and activists at all levels to stand by people and poor patients with the necessary treatment advice and materials to tackle the situation.”

Two Bangladeshis, who recently returned from Italy, were tested positive for COVID-19. A third person was infected after coming in contact with one of the returnees.

The decision came two days after Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases. Health experts have urged people to avoid unnecessary mass gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus.

The global death toll in coronavirus climbed to 3,830 on Monday. It has infected 1,10,071 people, while 62,280 have recovered.

SI

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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