“Don’t move and celebrate Eid wherever you are,” is the message given by the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In a nationwide appeal, Hasina told her countrymen that by rushing to their homes in villages to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, they were putting the lives of their loved ones in grave danger.
"All are travelling together in ferries and other vehicles. You do not know who is infected with coronavirus. You are carrying that virus to your family members. You are going to infect them, too. You are going to put their lives in danger as well," she warned.
Hasina stressed that the people will not face any people if they celebrated Eid without their other family members and relatives.
"So, don't move, stay at the places where you are right now and enjoy the Eid as you wish."
Spotlighting wearing masks, she also urged all to remain alert about the new variant of coronavirus that spread widely in neighbouring India, "as the neighbouring country has been hit hard by the new variant, there is a possibility for it to enter Bangladesh."
Bangladesh’s National advisory panel has also asked the government to control mass gatherings during the Eid rush and has warned that Bangladesh is likely to experience a third wave of Covid-19 outbreak at the beginning of June. If the gatherings continue till Eid-ul-Fitr, the impact will be visible two weeks later (at the beginning of June).
“The Indian variant has already been detected in the country at a time when the mad rush on the ferries, transports and shopping malls means social distancing is not maintained,” Dr Nazrul Islam, a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 told the daily, “the vaccine rollout is not satisfactory in the country due to a shortage of doses.”
On Sunday, local administrations shut ferry services completely, with even services for ambulances suspended in the daytime. Emergency service vehicles have been requested to use alternative means to cross the rivers.
Bangladesh reported 8,777 new cases of coronavirus infection on Sunday. With this, the Covid-19 caseload reached 394,667 on Saturday taking the tally close to 400,000. The countrywide Covid-19 mortality toll stands at 3,632.
Bangladesh has extended the closure of land borders with India for 14 more days. However, the transportation of goods through the land borders would continue as before.