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The Pandemic Response Yet To Rise In BD

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04th-Apr-2020       
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Muhammad Quamrul Islam :
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research-IEDCR came up with a  news on March8, 2020 that the country is no longer beyond the concussions of the deadly coronavirus and there are three detected cases including a woman. Two of the victims returned home from Italy recently and the   third person got infected after coming in contact with them. All the three are aged between 20 to 35 years. The Director of IEDCR Meerjady Sabrina Flora said this at a press conference and kept up daily briefing giving update admirably. All the three were treated at a city's hospital; since recovered and returned home. Italy is the worst- hit European nation suffering from the lashes of coronavirus.  An estimated one lakh Bangladeshis are living in different neighborhoods of Italy.
 True, the Government of Bangladesh, ruling party leaders, partisan Dhaka University teachers and neo- wealthy were in a relaxed mood, as none was diagnosed COVID-19 positive till March7, 2020. They took no look at media reports on outbreak of coronavirus began in a market in China's Wuhan district in December last year. More than two months passed by, when they could take adequate preparations in response, particularly because visits between two countries' politicians, businessmen are too frequent and Bangladesh economy is dependent on China for its textile garments sector and infrastructural projects. Instead,all were busy with programs by Centenary Celebration Committee with national professor Rafiqul Islam as president towards Mujib Year for personal aggrandizements. If they had little love and regard for Bangabandhu, they could not do so, but mind pandemic, septuagenarians Dhaka University 1961batch confirm.
   The impacts of coronavirus led to curtailment of centenary program and cancellation of scheduled Dhaka visit by Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi on March 17 attend centenary birthday celebration of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib. He sent message in video conference on that day. Of course, all out efforts were made by Bangladesh Government and ruling party to ensure his safety and threatened students and commoners who protested Delhi violence killing Muslims and upheld human rights; which media reported.
In between, PM Modi hosted video conference of SAARC, which is a non-starter organization, costly to the people but comfortable to politico-bureaucratic nexus; on March 15 to combat coronavirus, participated by heads of government and Health Adviser from Pakistan. It would be a futile effort goes without saying; more so when regional grouping and globalization is under severe threat. What is imperative is to make country specific programme following UN health agency and advice of local experts. The central government of India has declared corona virus outbreak in the country a notified disaster to contain the spread of infectious virus.
 Government of West Bengal has put in place 'State Disaster Response Fund' (SDRF) to be used for temporary accommodation, and supply of food, water and medical care for patients and people in quarantine camps. It will pay for additional testing centers and cost of protective equipment for Police, Healthcare and Municipal authorities as well as thermal scanners and other necessary equipment for government hospitals. It is felt that Bengalis having same language and culture this would be a useful reference for Bangladesh. In Kolkata till March 20 two persons aged 18 and 22 years who came home from London were detected corona affected. State Government has declared distribution of rice free to all poor ration card holders till next September. Panchayet Department is distributing free sanitizer to the poor. She declared strict actions will be taken against those who increase prices of daily necessities or hoard, report Dhaka dailies.
There are worldwide responses by heads of government including US President Donald Trump tested negative for novel coronavirus, which impeded the rhythm of daily life across the country. He declared national emergency and held National Prayer Day with all solemnity.
The ministry of religious affairs and its attached body Islamic Foundation requested Khatibs and Imams of Mosques countrywide to discuss coronavirus and hold  doa during  Friday Juma Prayer March 13,2020. Our Imam dealt the matter as usual and impressed upon all emphatically to shun all vices- bribery of all sorts, corruptions in every name and shape, grabbing of property land and uphold human rights. We will seek forgiveness of Allah and promise to lead pious life. Insha'Allah, we will be safe. He quoted two Ayats from Holy Quran for understanding; English translation interpretation by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al- Hilali, Ph.D. (Berlin) follows:
 Surah Ar-Ra'd 11.For each (person) there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allah. Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah). But when Allah wills a people's punishment, there can be no turning back of it, and they will find besides Him no protector.
 Surah Ar- Rum 41.  Evil ( sins and disobedience  of Allah etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and  evil deeds etc.),that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging  His Pardon).
Last Friday March 20, 2020 respected Khatib explained in detail above Surah Ar- Rum and asked to adopt protective measures, shun briberies corruptions etc. though difficult but have  to, repent and beg Pardon to Allah and survive  from lashes of coronavirus worldwide, no way to migrate. He requested all to covey this ordain to MPs, Ministers etc. with whom they have contacts. Islamic Foundation should follow up. The number of corona affected increasing and second death reported on March 22.The prices of rice and other essential food items have gone up, poor and unemployed including University degree holders are facing harsh realities. Report of deaths of several Bangladeshis in New York has come.
(Muhammad Quamrul Islam is an economist, advocate and columnist)

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