CUMILLA: Cumilla district covers at least 106 kilometres of Bangladesh-India border areas. There is also a land port in Cumilla.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the movement of people from Bangladesh to India through the land port of Bibirbazar in the district has been stopped since the beginning of April last year.
However, the Indian variant of the coronavirus is still raising fears among the people of the border district comprising five upazilas.
At least ten people from the upazilas said on condition of anonymity that they have stopped coming and going through Cumilla border legally. However, in many cases people of the two countries are coming and going illegally. Especially, the activities of smugglers have not stopped.
Currently, the Indian variant of coronavirus has become deadly. It can also spread in Cumilla through people who come and go illegally. So, the people of this district are apprehensive about the dangerous Indian variant.
Meanwhile, the administration is working to prevent the spread of Indian variant in Cumilla. Cumilla's Adarsha Sadar, Sadar Dakshin, Chauddagram, Burichang and Brahmanpara upazilas are within the Bangladesh-India border area.
Cumilla Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Kamrul Hasan has directed the BGB as well as local people representatives to be vigilant in these areas to prevent illegal movement.
On the other hand, a total of 292 Bangladeshis returned from India have been quarantined in several private hotels in Cumilla at the instruction of the Ministry of Health. All of them have returned to Bangladesh from India through Akhaura land port of Brahmanbaria. It is learnt that they were kept in Cumilla due to space constraints in Brahmanbaria.
They are in quarantine under the joint supervision of the district administration, district police and health department. Besides, their quarantine is being ensured through strict monitoring by the administration.
Even though the Indian variant of coronavirus has not been identified in Cumilla yet, no one is able to discard the fear.
He added that people who came to Cumilla from India have not been diagnosed with the coronavirus so far. However, everyone has been requested to be careful. They have four executive magistrates and health officials to look after the overall situation. Everyone has also been kept under police surveillance.
Cumilla Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Kamrul Hasan said precautions have been intensified across the district to prevent the transmission of Indian variants in Cumilla.
Cumilla District Civil Surgeon Mir Mubarak Hossain said the Indian variant of coronavirus has not been identified in our district yet. The collection of samples of the returnees from India is not yet complete. However, as many samples have been collected so far, they tested negative.
He added that a total of 74,658 samples have been collected in Cumilla till Saturday. Of these, 13,754 people have been infected. A total of 432 people died. And so far 10 thousand 453 people have recovered.
SM Salauddin, revenue officer of Bibirbazar land port in Cumilla, said import and export of goods through Bibirbazar land port are underway. However, the movement of people through this port has been stopped for the last 14 months, he added.