In the last week of March 2020, the government of Bangladesh declared nationwide shutdown for 10 days. The shutdown has been extended to 11th April 2020. The government referred this order as a strategy to encourage social distance among the citizen. According to the declaration, Police and military forces are working to ensure social distancing and shutdown.
The first patient of Coronavirus in Bangladesh was detected on 8th March 2020. Till today 56 people are found positive and 6 people died (Ref: IEDCR)
To ensure economic activities, Bangladesh Bank has issued directives for all banks specially commercial banks. In the circulars issued on 24th and 25th March , banks were ordered to maintain limited banking services till 12.00 o’clock. But, on 2nd April this time-frame has been modified to 1.00 o’clock. In this shutdown period, Banks are ordered to provide Cash Transactions facility, Issuance of PO/Draft, Issuance Treasury bill, Clearing, Card Transactions etc.
Bangladesh Bank has not issued any significant declaration to ensure the safety of the bankers. Staffs those who face clients on a regular basis are very prone to Coronavirus. Staffs working in Cash Unit are on the top of the risk parameter. Although there are digital means of banking, people are found to continue regular mode of banking even in this critical circumstance.
Apart form this, bankers are facing trouble in getting transportation facility. As the Police and Military forces seem to very strict on human movement, they are now stopping staffs of many banks forcing them not to go anywhere. Even there are a clear direction from the government to keep the banks open, such obstacle is unexpected and irrelevant. Many banks has adopted Work from Home policy. But, most of the banks following the regular mode of operation. Notably, many private commercial banks are providing PPE and hand sanitizers for the front-line staffs.
Bangladesh Police is one of the responsible unit of the state to ensure public order and security. It has been reported that Police force are working relentlessly to implement social distancing & to minimize the community transmission of Coronavirus. Police force are working at community level. Police are assigned with many unusual tasks like arranging & monitoring funeral of the died patients, distributing foods and necessary items to the vulnerable families, monitoring home quarantined people, observing the non-resident Bangladeshi who came from abroad. All these activities are posing higher risk for the Police force. With a least number of Personal Protective Equipment, Police force seem to be very unprotected.
Civil Administration and other government organizations, are also in the risk of getting caught by Coronavirus. DC, UNO, Assistant Commissioner, Magistrates and other staffs are working round the clock. Most of the civil servants are having restless time. They are creating mass awareness by going door to door, distributing foods and supplies, monitoring market and observing the whole situation. With a little thought of their own safety and security, they are performing the best duties for the civilians.
All the above mentioned organizations are taking high risk with courage and noble motives. Help them to help you… Stay Home, Stay Safe
Featured image courtesy: Dhaka Tribune