Medical &Health

Coronavirus: BNP urges govt to shut borders with India

BNP on Saturday urged the government to close the country's land borders with India as the neighbouring country is witnessing a serious outbreak of coronavirus.

“The coronavirus infection has sharply increased in India...a terrible situation has been prevailing there due to the prevalence of new variants. Our citizens have to travel to India by road and air for various reasons, including business and treatment,” said party Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

Speaking at a virtual press conference, he said, “West Bengal has the highest number of virus infections. So, we think, the land borders with India need to be closed completely.”

Fakhrul also opposed the government’s decision of keeping the inbound air passengers in quarantine for only three days instead of two weeks.

He said no country in the world cut the duration of institutional quarantine to three days for international travellers.

The BNP leader alleged that the government’s whimsical decisions only contribute to the deteriorating Covid situation.

He said many people had returned to their village homes before the government enforced the lockdown. “As the government is going to allow shops and shopping malls to reopen from Sunday, these people are again returning to Dhaka and they’ll go back to their village homes before the upcoming eid. As a result, the virus will spread badly across the country.”

The BNP leader said they have long been advising the government to take a coordinated plan and roadmap to tackle the coronavirus situation. “But the government is not paying heed to it.”

He also said the government has failed to enforce the ongoing lockdown in the country as it has not taken any step to feed the low-income people and destitute. “Forcing people to stay home without giving them food and money is inhumane and meaningless."

Fakhrul suggested the government to announce a seven-point incentive package for those affected by the second wave of coronavirus and the lockdown.

The party’s seven proposals are giving a one-time cash of Tk 15,000 for three months to each day-labourer and the low-income people who are badly affected by the lockdown, providing each worker of the informal sector with a one-time cash of Tk 15,000 for three months, bringing all the poor under the 'protection assistance' package, fairly preparing a list of disadvantaged beneficiaries of government's assistance, announcing special incentives for SMEs, institutional and informal industries and agriculture sector, and disbursing loans from the state exchequer to the affected industrialists, entrepreneurs and expatriates without political consideration.

Fakhrul also urged the government to implement a Tk 87,000 crore incentive package presented by their party last year to deal with the fallouts of the coronavirus pandemic.

He also called for taking a comprehensive plan based on national unity to tackle the coronavirus and its adverse impact since the entire nation is passing through a critical time.

The BNP leader alleged that the government’s wayward attitude over the coronavirus vaccine collection and uncertainties over getting the jabs from India have frustrated the entire nation.

He alleged that the ‘corrupt’ government has put the entire nation at a serious health risk ‘with its move to facilitate a pro-government business institution in importing the vaccine’.

Fakhrul said the crisis over the vaccine was created as the government depended on a single source. “From the very beginning, we’ve repeatedly talked about procuring the vaccines from alternative sources alongside India. But nothing was done in this regard, creating the vaccine crisis.”

He accused the government of arresting BNP leaders and activists and alem-ulema by launching a crackdown in the name of enforcing a countrywide lockdown.

The BNP leader also said the government is trying to suppress people by implicating them in different cases under repressive laws like the Digital Security Act so that no one dares talk about its misdeeds, corruption, repression and 'fascist' rule.

Fakhrul urged BNP leaders and activists to stand by the poor and destitute to ease their sufferings at this bad time of the coronavirus pandemic.

Referring to media reports, he said the country’s food security will be at stake as the government has no adequate food stock.

Under the circumstances, the BNP leader urged the government to immediately start procuring paddy from farmers after fixing a fair price and expedite the OMS program to ensure rice at a lower price for poor people.

Source: United News of Bangladesh