All kinds of gatherings restricted in Bangladesh to fight Covid-19
The government has imposed a restriction on all kinds of political, social, cultural and religious gatherings in an effort to contain the further spread of novel coronavirus in the country.
Besides, people having fever, cough, influenza or other symptoms of Covid-19 as well as family members of coronavirus-infected patients and those come in contact with the patients have been asked not to go to mosques and other worship places.
Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus announced the decisions while addressing high and field-level government officials through videoconferencing.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam along with other secretaries and inspector general of police (IGP) joined the videoconference from the Secretariat while Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and PMO Secretary were with Ahmad Kaikaus at the Prime Minister’s Office.
All divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners were connected with the videoconference. Deputy inspectors general (DIGs) of police were with the divisional commissioners while superintendents of police (SPs) and civil surgeons were with the DCs at the time.
“All sorts of political, social, cultural and religious gatherings have been banned. You must ensure it,” the principal secretary said pointing at the field-level administration.
About the operation of public transport, Ahmad Kaikaus said the government has not yet taken any decision in this regard. “Rather, people with fever, cough and influenza have been advised to avoid public transport. Even transport workers having such symptoms have been advised to refrain from work.”
He, however, said the government’s policy is not to enforce any lockdown, rather to take measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The principal secretary asked the field-level administration to strictly enforce the home-quarantine rules to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in the country. “Take strict legal action if anyone violates the home-quarantine rules,” he said, asking them to step up their surveillance to this end.
Noting that lists of those who returned home from aboard in the last three months have been prepared, he said district-wise lists were sent to every district on Thursday to help intensify the surveillance and take legal actions in case of violation of the rules.
The Cabinet Secretary asked the local administration to punish those who will violate the home-quarantine rules as per section 269 of the Penal Code.
According to the section 269 of the Penal Code, whoever unlawfully or negligently does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both, he said.
The principal secretary said there are three types of lists of returnees – one is prepared with the names of those returned in the last 15 days, the second with those came back in the last one month and third one with those returned home in the last three months.
He directed the field-level government officials to bring those entered the country in the last one month under extensive surveillance.
Ahmad Kaikaus asked them to register the names of those came in contact with the returnees keeping eyes on their movement.
Noting that there is adequate stock of essential items in the country, he asked the local administration to strengthen monitoring of market to control prices of commodities.
The other directives he made include keeping special attention to places having large number of expatriates, engaging school and college teachers in campaign about the coronavirus, keeping ambulances standby to carry suspected Covid-19 patients, stepping up monitoring on land ports, following proper protocols in case of disposal of the body of any coronavirus-infected patient, not disclosing names of infected persons so that they are not subjected to social stigma.
The principal secretary said the Prime Minister at a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) refused to go on separate immune system. “I’m with the nation. Separate immune system is not required for me. I’m with all,” he quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
“There’s no scope to treat me separately,” she said when concern was raised about her safety following the detection of Covid-19 cases in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, the IGP said they have already readied stamps and pads to use irremovable ink on those who need to stay in home-quarantine.