BNP on Sunday termed ‘suicidal’ the government’s decision of allowing the export-oriented factories to resume operation amid the ongoing "strict lockdown" enforced to contain the spike in Covid infections and fatalities.
“A horrible and messy situation has been prevailing in the country…it declared earlier that the factories would remain shut until August 5. Suddenly, it’s announced that the factories would be reopened without taking any steps to allow the workers to return. They again decided at night that public transport would operate till 12pm,” said party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He said, “That’s why I earlier said all these decisions come from Hemayetpur, and this is the reality…I see nothing but insanity in these decisions. The BNP standing committee feels that the government has taken the suicidal decision due to its incompetence and extreme lack of sincerity.”
Fakhrul made the remarks at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office while unveiling the decisions of a virtual meeting of party standing committee held on Saturday.
Referring to media reports, he said it is freighting the way workers in their thousands were crowding and making their desperate bid to return to their workplaces.
“They (workers) are returning from rural areas where now the coronavirus transmission is very high. They’re coming back with this (virus). So, we can understand what's going to happen in Dhaka. We think the government should resign shouldering all the responsibilities for its utter failure to deal with the corona situation,” Fakhrul observed.
The BNP leader said health experts also opposed the government’s such decision and they described it as a farce since the residents of Dhaka will be vulnerable to the infection of the deadly Delta variant of coronavirus with the arrival of the workers from outside the capital.
Export-oriented industries resumed operation today (Sunday), the 10th day of the ongoing stringent lockdown, amid warnings against Covid surge as workers started returning to their workplaces without maintaining health protocols.
A record surge in the number of Covid cases and fatalities in recent days prompted the government to enforce a nationwide stringent lockdown, suspending all outdoor activities unless there is an emergency.
Fakhrul alleged that the country’s poor and low-income people are going through serious sufferings due to ‘unplanned' lockdown enforced by the government.
He said their party repeatedly cautioned the government that the lockdown would never work without food aid and financial support for low-income and marginalised people, including workers in the informal sector, transport workers, boatmen, and rickshaw and van pullers.
“We also urged the government to provide these people with a one-time grant of Tk 15,000. But the government has decided to pay Tk 2,500 to its own party men. The real victims are not getting this support,” the BNP leader said.
Deceiving people over vaccine
Fakhrul alleged that the government is trying to deceive people by giving them wrong information about the vaccines.
“The government has said it’ll make arrangements to provide 6 millin doses of vaccines every week. But it couldn’t give 6 million jabs over the last seven months. They’ve also announced to give one crore doses of vaccines every month without any guarantee of receiving the jabs. This is nothing but a trickery with people.”
He said the health minister has been making ‘ridiculous and hollow’ remarks about vaccinating the country’s 80 per cent of the population without collecting the necessary vaccine doses. “The BNP standing committee meeting has urged the government to immediately present a specific roadmap on vaccine collection, storage, and distribution to people without uttering empty words.”
Fakhrul also accused the government of deliberately giving people 'untrue information' about the daily coronavirus cases and fatalities. “They’re misleading people by not giving the real statistics on the number of infections and deaths.”