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Mass gatherings banned, army to monitor quarantine centres in Dhaka

Ramping up measures to contain Corona virus (COVID 19) spread in the country, government of Bangladesh has announced a ban on all mass gatherings in the country. Making this announcement on Thursday evening, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus ordered the local administration to keep a close watch on the movement of people returning from abroad in the last one month and ensure their two week long quarantine at home or in the hospital. The government also asked the authorities to take legal action against people who violate the quarantine regulations.

The ban however exempts religious places like mosques, temples, Churches etc. But some mosques like the Gambuj mosque in Tangail’s Gopalpur upzila have decided to suspend Friday prayers in view of the Corona virus threat. Talking to media on Thursday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque urged all the devotees to offer their Friday prayers from home following the example of Saudi Arabia.

Even while the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus said that no decision has been made to restrict public transport, Shibchar area of Madaripur district has imposed restrictions on movement of buses. This area is considered vulnerable to the outbreak of Corona virus.

The bus services from Dhaka to Rajshahi have also been suspended for an indefinite period to contain the spread of Corona virus in the country.

Following some reports of the foreign returnees defying quarantine instructions, government has authorised Bangladesh Army to run two quarantine centres in Dhaka. The government has also decided to ask the army to prepare the large Ijtema ground near Dhaka for a quarantine facility.

Responding to the requirement of additional fund to fight Corona virus, an additional fund of Tk 200 crore has been allocated to Health Ministry by the government.