Staff Correspondent ;
Dhaka – The government has instructed its local units to strictly implement a decision that ban all public gatherings, including pilgrimage, in a bid to stop spreading of the novel coronavirus, an official said on Thursday.
“No political rallies, religious and cultural gatherings, and pilgrimage will be allowed until further notice,” the official told nesnextbd.com by phone after senior government officials briefed district administrations through video conferencing.
“We were asked to enforce the restriction strictly as the crowds may be the potential source of infections,” Deputy Commissioner of Madaripur Wahidul Islam said.
He added that all the grassroots officials, law enforcement agencies and the people in general were asked to obey the order at the time crisis.
The decision came following media reports that several groups of Islamists had organized a mass prayer, religious preaching and other shows in different parts of the country.
In one of the events, a group organized prayer session attended by thousands of Muslims that drew criticism from the netizens as a such crowd was unfortunate at this moment of crying need of social distancing to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
A more than 15-minute video footage released on the YouTube shows several thousand people raised their hands to seek blessing from the Almighty to save the country from possible danger.
Bangladesh, which detected first three cases of coronavirus on March 8, diagnosed three more people with novel coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total number of patient to 17. One of them died on Wednesday.
The South Asian nation shut schools nationwide until March 31 and slapped a travel ban on neighbouring India and European countries, excluding Britain, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and Singapore as part of its measures to prevent spread of the deadly virus.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque has hinted for lockdown in parts of the country if the situation demands. As per the direction, the administration in southern Sibchar sub-district restricted all public transports, movement of people and non-essential shopping.