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The Financial Express

Customs worried over Covid-19 infections among staffers

Lobbying for corporate deals with pvt hospitals


| Updated: May 31, 2020 12:31:53


- Collected/ UNB - Collected/ UNB

Customs and VAT officials are worried over increasing infections of COVID-19 among staffers in recent times.

They said customs officials are involved in ensuring the supply chain of essential and other products and continued their full-fledged work during the general holidays that expire today (Sunday).

The customs officials are prone to higher exposure as they have to deal with thousands of people every day.

They said the actual number of infected staffers and officials are yet to be compiled as there is limited scope for virus testing.

Until Thursday, a total of 22 staffers of customs and VAT offices contracted the coronavirus, according to the wings of the National Board of Revenue.

Of them, 13 persons are in the Chittagong Custom House, which deals with the largest sea port of the country.

Talking to the FE, secretary-general of the BCS (Customs and VAT) Association, Syed MushfequrRahman said the customs and VAT officials are working like frontline soldiers in the battle against the pandemic without adequate facilities for testing, treatment and protective gears.

Officials in different customs stations have not availed the general holidays for a day to discharge their duties during the public health exigencies, he said.

"They have kept import-export and in and outbound passenger services operational and helped release the imported safety gears, medical equipment, essential products and industrial raw materials from the ports," he said.

He said the association is trying to sign a corporate agreement with the private hospitals for ensuring treatment to the customs and VAT officials and staffers.

He said all government hospitals dedicated to COVID treatment have already overwhelmed with the sharp increase in patients.

"Customs are delivering uninterrupted services to the private hospitals through speedy release of their medical equipment," he added.

In this situation, such hospitals should come forward to support people who serve like frontline workers, he said.

doulot_akter@yahoo.com

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