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28 March, 2020 00:00 00 AM
2nd day of closure

Roads, public places barren

Staff Reporter, Dhaka
Roads, public places barren
Members of armed forces yesterday patrol in the capital’s Mohammadpur area as part of helping civil administration maintain people’s social distance to contain spread of deadly coronavirus. Focus Bangla photo

The second day of a 10-day government-declared closure to contain the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) passed yesterday with the members of law enforcement agencies making people aware of necessity to continue home-stay amid fear of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Silence gripped the whole country including the capital city as the city dwellers followed self quarantine fearing the possible infection of the deadly virus. All the roads and avenues in and across the city and the country including the small ones were out of vehicles including the three-wheelers, even the rickshaws could hardly be seen.

Regret over harassment of people

Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said it is very regretful that people are being harassed by the members of law enforcement agencies when they go out even for important reasons. According to him, there has been no lockdown across the country. “No lockdown has been imposed in the country…. anyone can come out and go to the streets, if necessary. It’s very regretful that people face harassment when they come out and go to the streets. Police have not been asked to do so.” UNB said the minister made the remarks yesterday during a live Facebook press conference from his official residence in the city. He said the government and the administration suggested people not to roam on the streets unnecessarily. Dr Mahmud said even the police headquarters on Thursday asked all its field-level officials that one can come out to the streets, if required, and suggested the officials to send people back to their residences convincing them if anyone goes out to streets unnecessarily.

So, he added, this is not right to harass anyone when he or she goes to the streets in case of necessity. The minister criticised BNP for the gathering of thousands of people when its chief Khaleda Zia was released on Wednesday amid enforcement of social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“BNP manifested nothing other than its utter irresponsibility by allowing gathering of thousands of people,” he said, adding that during the release of Khaleda Zia, thousands of people gathered in front of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) hospital, and in front of her residence in Gulshan and on her way to the house.

The party did it when the people of the country were staying at home and everyone was doing whatever was possible on his or her part and following the instructions to face the global pandemic of coronavirus, said Dr Hasan Mahmud.

“These gatherings took place when all programmes of the Independence Day and even the placing of wreaths at the National Memorial were cancelled,” he added.

Noting that the world is facing the pandemic, he said they do not want to see the political blame-game at this time of disaster. “We rather hope that all political parties will stand united to face the crisis. We hope we all, including the BNP and other political parties, will remain united beside the people and we’ll be able to face this massive disaster with collective efforts.”

The information minister said the people of the country responded overwhelmingly to the call of the prime minister and are staying at home to prevent the COVID-19 spread.

Police to continue discouraging people to come out on streets

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the law enforcement agencies have been working to discourage unnecessary public gatherings aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

“Our law enforcement agencies have been instructed to help people avoid unnecessary public meetings. Accordingly, they are working on it and asking people to follow the government’s instructions,” he told journalists at his Dhanmondi residence in the capital.

Kamal said police will continue discouraging people to come out on the streets as part of efforts to curb public gatherings amid fears of spreading the deadly virus, reports BSS.

“I think people have become aware of it,” he said, adding, “We hope that if we are aware of this, the spread of coronavirus in our country will not take place like some European countries.”

Urging all to fight the spread of coronavirus irrespective of their stay, the minister said, “Wherever you stay, continue to fight against coronavirus. Everyone should stay at home and keep yourself clean on a regular basis.”

He also said a monitoring cell under the home ministry has been working round the clock, adding, “We are taking measures accordingly to inform about coronavirus.”

Sundarban-14 launch locked down with 36 staff quarantined

Our correspondent from Patuakhali said a launch ‘Sundarban-14’ has been locked down for non-compliance with the government directives aimed at preventing the spread of deadly coronavirus.

In an order issued by Patuakhali Executive Magistrates Amit Roy and Golam Sarwar, a total of 36 launch staff, including the supervisor, master and the cabin boy, were placed in quarantine Thursday night.

It was learned that the launch plying on the Patuakhali-Dhaka route left the capital apparently violating the government ban with passengers on board to reach Patuakhali district.

The launch was stopped at Lohaliya River near the Patuakhali launch terminal around 10pm on Thursday. A large number of passengers were allegedly dropped there from the launch to carry them via trawler and boat. Later, Executive Magistrate Amit Roy, Golam Sarwar, Assistant Director of Patuakhali Naval port, Khaja Sadikur Rahman and local journalists got to the launch using a trawler.

Later, a mobile court locked down the launch and ordered the launch staff to stay in home quarantine for 14 days.

CMP asks people to abstain from rumour

Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) Commissioner Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman has urged all not to spread rumours over the pandemic coronavirus through Facebook or any other social media.

Talking to journalists in the port city yesterday, he warned of taking legal actions against those who would spread rumours over the deadly virus.

According to a BSS report, the CMP commissioner said he has directed the police to file cases under the Digital Security Act against the rumour campaigners. He further said a process is underway to identify those who have recently spread rumours on Facebook.

Meanwhile, police arrested Dr Iftekhar Adnan, a city Juba Dal leader, for spreading rumours on Facebook. He was sued under the Digital Security Act.

Earlier, a Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) team arrested Kamrul Hasan Rumi, a businessman in the port city, for spreading rumours over coronavirus on Facebook.

Bangladesh yesterday reported four new coronavirus cases taking the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 48.

However, no patient died in the last 24 hours, said Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora.

Bangladesh has so far reported five deaths from coronavrius. Besides, 11 other Covid-19 patients have already made recovery. The global death toll from the coronavirus or COVID-19 has jumped to 24,087 as of Friday.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh declared a 10-day general holiday from March 26 and people started maintaining social distance and staying home like other countries across the world in an effort to starve the virus of the hosts it needs to replicate itself.


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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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