Government plans general holiday in red zones

Iqbal Mahmud | Published: 19:01, Jun 13,2020 | Updated: 23:46, Jun 13,2020


The government has planned to announce general holiday in the areas marked as red zones and imposed further restrictions on offering prayers in mosques and other religious establishments in the areas in a fresh move to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections across the country.

The authorities on Saturday declared three wards of Kaliganj Municipality in Gazipur red zones and imposed lockdown in the areas for 14 days.

They also announced Kamalnagar upazila of Lakshmipur a red zone, which would be put under lockdown from Monday morning.

In the capital’s Purba Rajabazar, an area of  some 50,000 people, which was put under complete lockdown four days ago on pilot basis, police and volunteers were registering the residents’ entries and exits with their destinations to curb unnecessary movements, said Dhaka north city corporation’s ward councillor for Purba Rajabazar area Faridur Rahman Khan Iran.

The ward councillor’s volunteers continued distributing food assistance, daily essentials and vegetables to poor people of the locality.

Over 100 families have received food assistance so far, said Riad Zumran, a volunteer.

Another resident and vegetable trader Md Sumon said that some residents were roaming in the alleyways of the area unnecessarily. They stay at home when police or army teams patrol the area and soon after their departure they again appear in the alleyways.

A BRAC official said that 71 people  from the area showed up for COVID-19 tests in four days and eight, of the 31 samples collected in first two days, tested positive.

United News of Bangladesh, quoting state minister for public administration Farhad Hossain, reported that the areas where infection rate was high would be declared red zones and general holiday would be announced in those areas but countrywide general holiday would not be declared anymore.

Gazipur’s Kaliganj upazila nirbahi officer Shibly Sadik said that ward number 4, 5, and 6 of Kaliganj Municipality was declared as red zone and around 30,000 residents there were put under lockdown from early Saturday.

Lakshmipur’s Kamalnagar will be brought under lockdown between June 15 and June 30, said Kamalnagar UNO Mohhamad Mubarak Hossain.

Meanwhile, the government on Saturday imposed fresh restriction on congregations during prayers in mosques and other religious establishments in red zones and asked people in the areas to offer prayers at their homes.

The religious affairs ministry in a notice on Saturday imposed the restrictions and said that maximum five devotees would be allowed to say regular prayers each time at a mosque while 10 would perform the weekly jumma prayers.

People from other religious comminutes have been asked not to gather in churches and temples in red zone areas.

The ministry’s senior information officer Anwar Hossain said that the restrictions were imposed following some recommendations from a meeting on Friday whch health minister Zahid Maleque presided over.

The ministry has also banned waz mahfils, tafsir mahfils, tablighi talims and milad mahfils. Gathering of people of other religions have also been banned.

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