Country to be zoned to check virus spread

25pc government employees to attend offices

Mustafizur Rahman | Published: 23:50, Jun 01,2020


The government on Monday decided to go for zoning the country into ‘red, yellow and green’ considering the area-wise distributions of COVID-19 infections and deaths to check the further spreading of the infection.

It also decided that only 25 per cent of the government workforce would attend the office physically and another 25 per cent would remain in touch with the office activities online in the present situation until further instructions, said officials.

The decisions came a day after the government reopened all offices and allowed the movement of public transports over two months after a nationwide shutdown began to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

‘As the number of coronavirus infections is increasing with the increase in the number of tests, we are going to mark areas as red, green and yellow,’ home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told reporters after presiding over a coordination meeting at the Secretariat about the plan of zoning for further restrictions.

He said that the public administration ministry had asked the departments concerned for steps to bring only 25 per cent of their workforce to office with a view to maintaining health safety of all.

The Cabinet Division would issue a fresh circular over the duty roster of government employees in a day or two, said officials.

Asked for comment, health minister Zahid Maleque said that the movement of people would again be restricted for a certain period in areas, in keeping with the opinions of the experts, where the number of infections would go up.

‘Districts and upazilas are still in a good situation. We want to keep them better. The issue was discussed in a meeting of experts with the prime minister on Saturday,’ he said, adding that Dhaka, Chattogram, Gazipur and Narayanganj were affected the most by the new coronavirus.

The meeting was held to find ways as to how the areas not infected much yet could be protected from the virus and its spread could be contained, he added. 

LGRD and cooperatives minister Md Tazul Islam and mayors of Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj, among others, attended the meeting.

The government and private offices reopened on Sunday on a limited scale amid fears of further increase in the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

The public administration ministry has, meanwhile, asked all departments concerned to rotate their officers and staff to make sure only those essential attend the office wearing masks.

The National Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 has already cautioned the government about the consequences of relaxing the restrictions on the public movement before the number of infections dips to a certain level.

It apprehended that the novel coronavirus infections would increase massively in the country, putting pressure on the country’s inadequate health system if the restrictions on the public movement were relaxed without ensuring effective measures to control the spread of the infection.  

The general holiday that had been imposed for containing the coronavirus pandemic and extended in phases since March 26 ended on May 30.

People at risks, with iw  llnesses and pregnant women have been asked to refrain from attending their office, according to a circular of the Cabinet Division issued on Thursday. 

The government has, however, extended the restrictions on businesses and the public movement for another 15 days.

The offices and public transports reopened at a time when the number of the daily infections crossed 2,500 and the death toll from the disease registered 672 till Monday morning.

Till March 31 the total infections recorded was 51 while only five people died of the disease after its detection on March 8. The first cases were detected in Narayanganj and the infections spread across all the districts during the shutdown.

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