Government gradually relaxing nationwide shutdown to help people: Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina

File Photo of PM Sheikh Hasina

Enamul Hafiz Latifee compiles,

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today, on 10 May 2020, 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 COVID-19 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 COVID-19 outbreak.


Referring to the prediction of famine by various global organizations over the COVID-19 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 organizations and individuals for making their generous contributions to support the government efforts in fighting the COVID-19. Of the organizations, 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 Organization (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 COVID-19 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.


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