Amar Ekushey Book Fair amid Covid-19

Health guidelines ignored

DU Correspondent

20 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Health guidelines ignored

Two fair-goers pull their face masks on chins and leave their noses and mouths out of masks at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on Friday, showing a disregard to Covid-19 health guidelines. —SUN photo

No one is caring about the prescribed health guidelines at Amar Ekushey Book Fair, which began on the premises of the Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on Thursday. Though, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her inaugural speech of the fair called upon the people to come to the book Fair following the health rules to prevent Covid-19 infection. But, the tendency to maintain the guidelines is almost zero. Many visitors are indifferent to the use of masks and many more are not maintaining social distance. People are endangering themselves and also others around them without following the rules issued by the government. However, the book fair authorities said everyone must has to wear mask and follow health guidelines at the fair, visitors are paying a little attention in this regard.

While visiting the fair on Friday, this correspondent saw many of the visitors didn’t wear face masks and follow health rules.  While asked a visitor, why he didn’t wear mask, he said, "I have mask but the weather is so hot that I can't stay long time wearing it."

Meanwhile, although the fair began on Thursday, the construction of many stall hasn’t finished yet. Construction work was going on in the Suhrawardy Udyan part. Visitors expressed their discontentment on this issue.

Visitor Armanul Haque said, "It’s really disappointing that stall making is still continuing. The organisers should have finished these works earlier."     

Although there was little pressure of visitors in the morning, the wave of visitors increased in the evening as it was weakened.

"Sale wasn’t satisfactory in the morning. Sale has increased as more readers coming to visit the fair in the evening," said Md Hridoy, a salesman of Tamralipi Publication.

On the second day of the fair, a discussion titled "Golden Jubilee of Independence: Historic March 7 Speech of Bangabandhu" was held in the main stage at 4:00pm.

The theme of the fair for this year is- “Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Golden Jubilee of Independence”. The fair, traditionally organised in the month of February, was postponed due to the pandemic. This year’s book fair has been dedicated to the martyrs of 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.

The fair will remain open from 3:00pm to 9:00pm from Sundays to Thursdays and from 11:00am to 9:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays, with an hour break for lunch and prayers, until April 14.