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29 March, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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People remain at homes as police asked to act tolerant

IGP asks force not to harass people
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
People remain at homes as 
police asked to act tolerant

The third day of the government announced 10-day closure to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) passed yesterday with people mostly living in their homes and only venturing out for urgent needs as law enforcers received fresh instructions to behave modestly, tolerantly and professionally with people while discharging their duties.

 The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammad Javed Patwary, directed law enforcers to maintain professionalism while enforcing social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country amid criticism over high-handedness and excesses by the police force in enforcing the 10-day closure across the country.

Many videos of police beating ordinary people were also circulated on social media for the past two days.

In a message issued on Friday night, the IGP also ordered his subordinates to ensure free movement of emergency service providers and vehicles used for the purpose of essential services.

Md. Sohel Rana, AIG (Media) at the police headquarters, informed the IGP’s message had reached the high officials of police and they were taking action accordingly.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had directed people to maintain social distancing to check the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Following the PM’s directive, all government and private offices were declared closed for 10 days. Transportation systems are also closed even as Army, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and police personnel are patrolling the roads to enforce social distancing.

According to sources in the police headquarters, the police harassment of people was damaging the force’s image and the IGP’s directive to “maintain a courteous, tolerant and professional attitude towards the general public while performing your duties” was meant to counter this.

The message was circulated to the DIGs of various divisional ranges, the superintendents of police (SP), deputy commissioners (DC) of metropolitan areas and OCs across the country.

In the message, the IGP said, “To ensure public life, ensure free movement of people and vehicles associated with all necessary emergency services including medical, medicine, essential commodities, food, electricity, banking and mobile phones.”

Army and police have been working on the streets to maintain social distancing since Thursday with cases of coronavirus infection increasing in Bangladesh day by day. Meanwhile, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Md. Shafiqul Islam said a resident of the capital city will be able to move outside if he/she maintains the hygiene advisory issued against the coronavirus. “A person can move on the road using any transportation. But in that case, hygiene should be followed,” he said.

Moreover, hotels and bakeries will remain open because many people do not have cooking arrangements. Confirming this, DMP Additional Commissioner Krishna Pado Roy said there was confusion about food stores being open. “There are many people in this city who don’t have a chance to cook. They cannot eat anymore. So the food stores can be kept open,” he said.

“In this case, it is advisable to buy food and take it home. If one wants to sit and eat, then social distancing must be maintained. Further instructions have already been issued in this regard,” he added.

Roy also said people involved with hotels and bakeries must be allowed to move freely. Shops selling essential commodities will be open and their employees should also be given the opportunity to work.

“They have been told to behave professionally and maintain social distancing while performing their duties,” he said.

Talking to The Independent, DMP Deputy Commissioner (Media) MD Masudur Rahman, said the DMP has issued some directives so that the police force can better provide their services to the people during this extraordinary situation.

DMP members have been asked to give special considerations to doctors, nurses, medical assistants and technicians and other emergency service providers like gas, water, electricity, journalists, workers of city corporations and security guards etc.

He also sought cooperation from the Dhaka residents so that police can provide them with better services and assist in containing the spread of COVID-19.

Int’l flights suspended until April 7

Bangladesh yesterday extended the international passenger flights suspension to April 7 to stop the transmission of coronavirus in the country.

“Suspension of international scheduled passenger flights has been extended until April 7 instead of March 31,” said a press release from Bangladesh Civil Aviation.

Meanwhile, suspension of inbound flights will also be extended until April 7, it said.

 On March 26, Bangladesh suspended flights to all countries except the UK and China until April 15 following the global outbreak of coronavirus.

Flight operation with Bangkok remained suspended from Thursday midnight and with Hong Kong from March 29, said Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh.

On March 15, Bangladesh suspended on-arrival visas for all countries for two weeks. Besides, passengers will not be allowed to enter Bangladesh from all European countries except England until March 31.

On March 19, Biman Bangladesh Airlines cancelled all of its flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Vehicle owners get until June 30 to renew fitness

The Road Transport and Highways Division extended time for renewing vehicles’ fitness until June 30 if it expires within the ongoing closure, UNB reported.

Vehicle owners will be able to renew the clearance without paying any fine, said Abu Naser, public relations officer of Road Transport and Highways Division.

Disinfectants to be sprayed in each area of capital: LGRD minister

Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD) minister Md Tazul Islam yesterday said the ministry will spray disinfectants in each area of the capital to prevent the transmission of croronavirus.

The minister said this during the inauguration of disinfectant water spraying activities in the capital.

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA)’s 20 vehicles will spray disinfectants at various locations in the capital jointly with the city corporations.

Tazul Islam said, “We need more awareness to protect ourselves from the virus. The government is working relentlessly to prevent the deadly virus.’

“We could not spray the disinfectants earlier for lack of preparation. However, thanks to Wasa authorities for arranging hand washing spots and providing masks in city,” he added.

WASA Managing Director Tasqem A Khan and other officials also were present.

Chinese test kits not from questionable company: Embassy

The Chinese embassy in Dhaka yesterday confirmed that none of the 40,500 COVID-19 test kits donated to Bangladesh is from Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology, the company that was questioned by Spanish government on Thursday for supplying “faulty” kits.

“The test kits provided by China to Bangladesh does not include any product, component or element from Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology Co. Ltd …All the medical supplies from China were purchased through standard procedures and from qualified suppliers,” a Chinese embassy statement said, reports BSS.

The Spanish government has withdrawn 58,000 coronavirus testing kits supplied by the Chinese company Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology from use after it emerged that those had an accurate detection rate of just 30 percent, media reports said on Friday.

So far, 40,500 test kits of COVIID-19 have been donated to Bangladesh government by the Chinese government and two globally renowned Chinese private bodies named Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations to strengthen the country’s capacity to detect patients infected by COVID-19.

The Chinese embassy statement said it observed that news reports saying that test kits bought by Spain from China failed to work properly raised some concerns among the people of Bangladesh.

“Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology Co, Ltd. the Chinese company in question, has NOT been granted a seller’s permit by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China, nor has it been listed as a qualified supplier of medical equipment by the Ministry of Commerce of China,” read the statement.

In the fight against COVID-19, it said, China will always stand by the friendly people of Bangladesh and will continue to offer necessary assistance within their scope of capacity. The statement also suggested that all the test kits require specific conditions of storage and the testing process should be conducted by professionals following strictly the instructions and user manuals provided by manufacturers.

 

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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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