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COVID-19: Worst-hit areas in B’desh to go into lockdown, says PM Hasina

Dhaka, June 14 (IANS) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has decided to bring the countrys worst coronavirus-hit areas under lockdown aimed at checking its further spread.

While paying glowing tributes to lawmaker Mohammed Nasim and State Minister for Religious Affairs Advocate Sheikh Md Abdullah, who both died recently, she hoped that her government would make Bangladesh poverty- and hunger-free as dreamt by the nation’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, overcoming all hurdles, including COVID-19.

Bangladesh has reported 32 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a daily count. The death toll from the pandemic reached 1,171.The tally of infections has also surged to 87,520 after 3,141 new COVID-19 cases were detected in the last 24 hours.

A tearful Hasina said, ” Its so painful to tell about a great loss of any family member. Nasim Bhai was very efficient as a political leader. He always stood beside me since I was trying to reorganise the Awami League with members of the families of martyrs after my return to the country in 1986.”

Sheikh Hasina, also president of the ruling Awami League said, “This is a war (for us). In such a time, we have lost two veterans (Mohammed Nasim and Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah) of the party, who played significant roles in each of the democratic movements and struggles. It is a matter of sorrow to loss them. We have lost them in a day.”

The prime minister said Nasim and Abdullah continued to work till their death for the betterment of the country and the people by upholding the ideology of Mujibur Rahman.

Mentioning that the fear arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic has reached terrible extent, she said, “We couldn’t allow death of people in starvation due to the panic. We have to take measures as their lives and livelihoods can continue.”

She said, “Every country, rich in terms of money and arms or poor, is now facing similar situation due to the coronavirus.”

The prime minister said the attack of COVID-19 came at such a time when the country was progressing rapidly as the Awami League government was able to reduce the poverty rate to 20 per cent from 40 per cent while the GDP growth was on the rise.

Noting that due to the virus the entire world is now going through a crisis, which none witnessed earlier, she said.

In this context, the prime minister recalled some phone calls that requested her not to go to the Jatiya Sangsad in this situation resulting from the pandemic and said she could not restrain herself from joining the parliament as she lost two of the frontline fighters of the party. She also mentioned that she has faced many life-threatening attacks, like grenade attacks.

Mohammed Nasim passed away at in Dhaka on Saturday morning at the age of 72 while Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah died at Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka late last night. Later, it was learned that Abdullah had contracted coronavirus infection.

33 Bangladeshi doctors and medical officials have died due to coronavirus, sources said.

–IANS

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