Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Govt considering lockdown of virus vulnerable areas: Maleque

Published 9:54 pm | March 19, 2020

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Online Desk : Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque today said the government is considering lockdown of the country’s vulnerable areas to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“The areas where situation will worsen due to coronavirus will be locked down…,” the minister said while briefing reporters on the current coronavirus situation at the Secretariat here this afternoon.

“The government is thinking of locking down the country’s most vulnerable areas like Madaripur, Shariatpur and Faridpur. A huge number of expatriates have recently returned home in these areas and most of them are moving freely without staying in quarantines,” he said.

Noting that coronavirus-infected people will be kept in a certain area for their treatment under the supervision of Bangladesh Army, Maleque said the Ijtema ground in Tongi is being prepared to keep the suspects in quarantines and ensure treatment of the COVID-19 patients.

“We have already asked the army to prepare the Ijtema ground and they are bringing the area under their control,” he said.

Apart from the Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Hospital, the health minister said, some hospitals with capacity of 2,000 beds are getting prepared to deal with coronavirus-infected people. “If necessary, we will use the Ijtema ground,” he added.

He said many returnees are not acknowledging that they have returned home recently and moving freely everywhere, putting their family members and others at risk.

Urging the Bangladeshi expatriates not to return home right now, Maleque said: “Do not return home now. Do not cause harm to your dears and nears. Please do so for the sake of the country.”

He said Bangladesh’s position is better than many other countries amid the global breakout of coronavirus. “Coronavirus infection rate is relatively low in Bangladesh. One person died here after being infected with coronavirus but he was old-aged.”

The health minister said the government has restricted all the tourism activities in the country. “Please stop religious and social activities. Even, marriage ceremonies should be postponed…if you suffer from fever, do not travel any way,” he added.

He said all ministries have been working to tackle the coronavirus crisis while “we are getting testing kits from many countries”.

Maleque said: “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed all concerned to hang cautionary message about coronavirus on walls and we will do so.”

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