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Coronavirus fear

Factory owners won`t stop production

25 March 2020 bdnews24.com


Industry owners do not want to shut down factories as a measure to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, so they are waiting for government directives on workers and factories.
On Monday, the government declared the shutdown of all government and private offices and courts from March 26 to April 4 amid mounting fears of the coronavirus that infected 33 people and killed three in Bangladesh.
The workers are flooding out of cities for their homes after the announcement.   Whether this fuels the spread of the virus has been brought into question.
Some owners said they are taking steps to ensure the well-being of the workers.
There are 41 manufacturing sectors in Bangladesh, including the garment industry, processed foods, plastic products and footwear. The garment industry alone employs more than four million workers. How these workers, along with workers in other sectors, will get about their livelihoods after the government's decision on Monday is also part of the larger concern.
BGMEA President Rubana Huq said, "Every factory owner will decide themselves on shutting the plants. Or the government will provide a guideline. BGMEA is not an authority who can give the decision on this."
The Ministry of Labour and Employment called meetings twice on Saturday and Sunday over the present situation.

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