Govt gradually relaxing shutdown to help people: PM

Online Desk : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her
government is gradually relaxing the nationwide shutdown so that the people
can manage ‘their lives and livelihoods’ in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are trying to open slowly (the countrywide shutdown) so that the people
can manage their lives and livelihoods in the month of Ramadan,” she said,
joining a donation handing over ceremony through video conference from her
official residence Ganabhaban here this morning.

PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus received the cheques for the
donations on behalf of the premier at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) here.

The premier said many people, particularly the daily wage earners, have
become jobless due to the shutdown which has put a great impact on the
country’s economy.

She added: “We know the people are going through a great hardship (amid
shutdown over coronavirus outbreak). So, we have been trying our best to
reach foods to everyone’s doorstep to minimize plights.”

The relief goods are being distributed among the needy people on behalf of
the government and the ruling Awami League and the rich people as well, she
continued.

The premier said the government has given special importance to ensuring
food security as part of taking precautionary measures in advance to offset
the possible famine the world is likely to face due to the coronavirus
outbreak.

Referring to the prediction of famine by various global organisations over
the coronavirus pandemic, she said, “We have given special focus on ensuring
food security cashing on the potentials of agriculture so that the people of
our country are not affected due to the pandemic.”

The prime minister credited to the government’s efforts for the bumper
production of (Boro) paddy and requested the countrymen to leave not a single
inch of land uncultivated so that the country does not experience any crisis
of foods in the days to come.

Sheikh Hasina said she had already asked the agriculture minister to take
prompt measures to bring all arable lands under cultivation immediately after
harvesting the Boro paddy.

She called upon the countrymen to grow whatever they could in their lands
to ensure food security.

Sheikh Hasina, also President of Awami League, lauded her party men
particularly the members of Chhatra League, Krishok League and other
associate bodies to help the farmers harvest Boro paddy in time.

The premier asked the well-off farmers, who have got huge quantity of
paddy, to stand by the poor farmers to lessen their sufferings.

She also greeted the organisations and individuals for making their
generous contributions to support the government efforts in fighting the
COVID-19.

Of the organisatons, Primary and Mass Education Ministry, Wills Little
Flower School and College, Secondary and Higher Education Division, Technical
and Madrasha Education Division, Khulna Agriculture University, Cumilla
University, Pabna Science and Technology University, Islamic University,
Kushtia, Khulna University, Bangamata Sheikh Fajilatunnesa Mujib Science and
Technology University, Sheikh Hasina University, Netrokona, Shahjalal Science
and Technology University, Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology,
Gazipur, North South University, Noakhali Science and Technology University,
and Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, made the
contributions to the PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund.

Posts and Telecommunications Division, Information and Communication
Technology Division, Nagad, Commerce Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Women
and Children Affairs Ministry, Security Services Division, Industries
Ministry, Bangladesh Election Commission Secretariat, Palli Karma-Sahayak
Foundation (PKSF), Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), Ministry of
Defense Constabulary (MODC), The Communist Party of China, Bangladesh
Securities and Exchange Commission, Dhaka Stock Exchange, Chattogram Stock
Exchange, Jibon Bima Corporation, Sadharan Bima Corporation, Investment
Corporation of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Insurance Association, Bangladesh Bar
Council, Bangladesh Judicial Service Association, BCS Customs Association,
Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, BCS Agriculture Association, Bangladesh
Election Commission Officers Association and Poultry Association gave
donation to the fund.

The Communist Party of China made contributions to the fund by giving
50,000 surgical masks.

Bangabandhu Diploma Engineers Council, Roads and Highways Diploma Engineers
Association, Bangabandhu PWD Diploma Engineers Association, Bangladesh Tea
Association, Bangladesh Engineers Club Limited, BUET Teachers Association,
Bangladesh Registration Service Association, Thermax Group, Max Group,
Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (RAKUB), Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Mostasim Billah
Siam, Purbachal Club Limited and Jahangirnagar University also made donations
to the PM’s relief fund.

The prime minister reiterated her appeal to all to abide by ‘stay-at-home’
and social distancing policies following the guidelines of the health
directorate and World Health Organisation (WHO) to stop transmission of
COVID-19 disease from one to another.

She called upon the countrymen to have courage, saying “Not only taking
medicines and advices from the physicians can save your life, but you also
need courage to help you recovering from any disease like COVID-19.”

Noting that the coronavirus is an invisible and unexpected enemy which has
made all the countries, including the rich ones, helpless, she said at the
same time the positive thing is that the entire world has been encountering
the lethal virus in unison.

The primer expressed her hope that the vaccine of the disease would be
invented soon as the researches on it are going on at many parts of the
world.

Spelling out various development programmes taken by her government for
building a hunger and poverty free “Sonar Bangladesh” as dreamt by the Father
of the Nation, she said, “We have made a giant step towards the overall
development of the country. But the COVID-19 has put a barricade on it.”

The premier, however, said she believes that the impediments would be
removed one day and the country would definitely reach its desired goal of
attaining prosperity.