Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon people to celebrate Eid at their current place of residence instead of risking the coronavirus pandemic to go back to their ancestral homes.
“I know that people are rushing to get home for Eid,” Hasina said on Sunday during a video conference from the Ganabhaban during which she allocated land for the Purbachal New Town project.
“But everyone is trying to go at once on ferries and by road with large groups of people without knowing who might have the coronavirus. And then you could take that virus home to your family.”
“Your mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, brother, or sister – you could end up infecting any of them. You will put them at risk of dying.”
The government has imposed a nationwide lockdown in April to combat the second wave of coronavirus infections across the country, says a bdnews24.com report.
Though long-haul bus service has been suspended due to the pandemic, people are still trying to get home for Eid using whatever means they can.
Home-bound people have left Dhaka in a desperate homeward journey by jumping into freight trucks and pick-ups. Daytime ferry service was suspended and BGB personnel were deployed to control the milling crowd.
“What is the harm in staying where you are for one Eid?” asked Hasina. “So please, instead of running around, stay where you are and celebrate Eid in whatever way you can.”
The prime minister also called on people to be patient and to consider their own wellbeing alongside the wellbeing of their families.
She noted the massive loss of life due to the pandemic across the world.
“People are dying constantly in our neighbouring countries,” she said. “And it is logical that, since it is happening in a neighbouring country, it could happen here as well. That is why we must protect ourselves before it happens. We must act so that everyone can survive this coronavirus.”
Hasina urged everyone to wear masks, follow health regulations and be careful, noting that a new strain of COVID-19, one that could be even more contagious, has been found in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh on Sunday registered 56 new fatalities from the coronavirus in a day, taking the death toll to 11,934. The caseload rose by 1,386 in a 24-hour count to 773,513.
Globally, over 157.72 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus and 3.28 million have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.