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BNP for 'all-party committee' to stop COVID-19 surge

09 Apr 2021 20:34:02 | Update: 09 Apr 2021 20:34:02
BNP for 'all-party committee' to stop COVID-19 surge
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir (File photo)

BNP on Friday proposed the formation of an 'all-party committee' to involve people for containing the second wave of coronavirus in Bangladesh.

"We think there’s still time to form an all-party committee to get rid of the coronavirus problem. One thing we want to emphasise that it's not possible to overcome a huge challenge like COVID without the involvement of people,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

Speaking at a virtual press conference, he said it is necessary to involve the people of all walks of life, political parties, different organisations and individuals to tackle a pandemic like coronavirus.

The BNP leader said effective campaigns should be launched to make people aware of the situation and the deadly virus. “People need to be given an idea of the severity of the disease to get their cooperation in the fight against it. Let's save people and the country with united efforts based on a national consensus.”

He said a strategy should be worked out to protect people's both lives and livelihoods. “We call upon the government to provide adequate incentives to entrepreneurs of the informal sector.”

Besides, Fakhrul said, those who are working in the informal sector, including the employees of shops and small factories, should be given allowances as long as the problem persists, especially when there is a lockdown.

He also urged the government to carry out relief activities to mitigate the sufferings of the destitute and day-labourers.

The BNP leader demanded the government take effective steps to ensure vaccine for the majority population of the country and thus attain herd immunity to eliminate the coronavirus.

"We’ve learned from experts that if Bangladesh wants to attain hard immunity, at least 125 million people must be vaccinated and health rules must be followed. But the government still couldn't manage the required number of vaccine doses,” he said.

He appreciated the government’s reported move to import vaccines from China and Russia. “Why didn’t you do this earlier?”

Fakhrul called upon the government to work out a roadmap to collect vaccines for at least 12.5 crore people and properly distribute those in a bid to attain herd immunity.

Besides, he urged the government to take steps for ensuring healthcare facilities, enhancing testing capacities and increasing ICU beds for the coronavirus infected people.

As the government is planning to enforce a full lockdown from April 14, he said the government should have a strategy to implement it by taking necessary steps to reduce public sufferings during Ramadan.

Fakhrul called upon their party’s all units to stand by the corona infected and poor people affected by the lockdown.

Fakhrul said their party’s around 400 leaders and activists have so far died of coronavirus while over 5,000 were infected with the virus.