Extend support to fight against coronavirus: PM

Special Correspondent

2 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged the countrymen to extend support to the government for containing the fresh Covid-19 surge by maintaining health guidelines.

“Health codes, which are being ignored, should be followed. It has been observed that many have been infected after attending marriage ceremonies or large gatherings,” she told Parliament while speaking on a condolence motion.

The infection rate dropped significantly last February. But infection cases have recently marked a sharp rise, which has compelled the government to give 18-point directive and ban entries of passengers from different countries to combat the deadly virus.

Bangladesh on Thursday reported 6,469 more corona cases, the highest number in a single day, and 59 deaths, the highest number in over nine months.

The Leader of the House said the infection rate has increased not only in Bangladesh but also in many countries.

“The infection increased, particularly on March 29, 30 and 31, as high as couldn’t be imagined,” she told the House with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

“The way we first contained the virus, we will have to bring the situation under control in the same manner. But, cooperation from the people is necessary to contain it,” she said.

The premier said the country is witnessing a sudden surge in the Covid-19 infection as people are ignoring health guidelines since vaccination against the virus started as they are thinking that nothing would happen to them.

“I repeatedly told the people to wear masks and follow the health guidelines even after taking vaccine against coronavirus. But, maintaining the health guidelines have been stopped,” she continued.

The prime minister reiterated her call to the countrymen to put masks on faces which she described as the most important thing and follow other health guidelines to remain protected from the fatal virus.

She said it has been estimated that the people attending marriage ceremonies and going to tourist places for outing mainly contributed to the sudden surge in the Covid-19 infection rate.

The premier called upon all to avert mass gatherings and stop going out home unnecessarily and arrange marriage ceremonies on a limited scale following the health guidelines.

“After returning home from offices or other places, take steam of hot water by covering heads with a piece of cloth which can work effectively against Covid-19,” she suggested.

She also suggested taking mustard oil in noses before leaving houses, saying that she has been using it since the Covid-19 onset.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has already issued some directives to effectively fight the coronavirus onslaught.

She stressed the need for making people aware of maintaining the directives to check the sudden surge of Covid-19 and asked all not to mix with people unnecessarily.

Expressing profound shock and sorrow at their deaths and conveying sympathy to the bereaved families, the premier described both Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury and her political adviser HT Imam as politically conscious persons and recalled their contributions to nation-building activities.

Mahmud Us Samad was elected lawmaker in every national election with a huge margin from his constituency as he was keen to work for the people, she said, adding: “Sylhet has been affected politically at his demise.”

About HT Imam, the premier said he was a cabinet secretary since the emergence of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in 1975 and was a politically conscious person.

She mentioned that HT Imam has written two books on the measures taken by then governments at her request.

The prime minister also recalled the contribution of former state minister Mohammad Aman Ullah (fourth-time MP from Mymensingh-11), Monsur Ahmed (two-time MP from Satkhira-4) and Abdul Majid Mandal (MP in 10th Parliament from Siranganj-5).

She said Monsur Ahmed, who was president of Satkhira District Unit Awami League, was brutally tortured by the government of Ziaur Rahman.

Regarding Barrister Moudud Ahmed (six-time MP from Noakhali-5 and Bagura-7), the premier said Moudud had talent. If it was used for the welfare of the people, it could have been better.

She also said Moudud was never appointed as a lawyer in the Agartola Conspiracy Case though he (Moudud) claimed so.

On the death of Bengali daily Janakantha editor Mohammad Atikullah Khan Masud, the prime minister said, “It will be injustice to say nothing about Atikullah Khan Masud.”

She said Atikullah Khan Masud had, at his own initiative, taken a brave role in collecting information on inhuman tortures of Awami League leaders and workers by the BNP after it assumed office through the 2001 farcical election though many newspapers dared not to do it at that time.

“It’s a matter of regret that the journalist community has lost a brave person and a good warrior at the demise of Atikullah Khan Masud,” she opined.

On the death of chairman of Sikder Group of Industries Zainul Haque Sikder, also father of Parveen Haque Sikder, an Awami League lawmaker for the women reserved seat, the premier said he was not only a freedom fighter but also a person who gave all sorts of supports to the pro-liberation people.

Lawmakers, including Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Muhammad Faruk Khan, Nurul Islam Sujan, Nurul Islam Nahid, Abdus Shahid, Nesar Ahmed, opposition chief whip Mashiur Rahman Ranga, and BNP MP Harunur Rashid also took part in the discussion.