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SC lawyers to president: Declare state of emergency over Covid-19

  • Published at 03:15 pm March 19th, 2020
Corona virus

The lawyers requested to issue a Proclamation of Emergency under Article 141A of the Constitution

Three Supreme Court lawyers has sent a letter to the President Abdul Hamid asking to declare state of emergency over Covid-19, which has killed over 8,900 people around the world

Advocate Mohammad Shishir Manir, Advocate Asad Uddin and Zobaidur Rahman sent the letter to the president and prime minister’s offices on Thursday. 

The letter said the world is facing an outbreak of Covid-19, novel coronavirus, and Bangladesh is not an exception. 

Since its detection on December 31 last year in Wuhan, China, it has spread to 166 countries and regions. Till date, the total confirmed cases of infected persons are above 219,000 of which over 8,900 has died as the virus transmits too quickly.

Even the developed countries are failing to contain the infection of this virus. Many countries including USA, Italy. Malaysia, Spain, Belgium are in complete lock down. Some countries like USA, Italy, Spain, Australia, Libya, Ukraine, Colombia and Canada have declared state and provincial emergency to tackle this outbreak. 

Most of the Middle Eastern countries have shut down mosques, including Masjid-Al-Haram, Masjid-An-Nababi and Masjid-Al-Aqsa, it added. 

The pandemic

The letter also said on March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized Covid-l9 as pandemic. The Government of Bangladesh also urged its citizens to follow the instructions, avoid gatherings and to stay at home. 

However, a significant number of them did not follow the instructions and as a result, the infections have spread in the community, becoming a global concern.

Last week in Bangladesh 94,000 people returned from abroad, from whom only 2,314 were quarantined. 

More specifically, since January some 606, 012 people came back to Bangladesh by air, road and sea.  However, the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) do not have any proper reports of those returnees, it added.

On March 16, the multinational corporations such as Unilever, Grameenphone, Banglalink and Robi asked their employees to work from home. 

Some other companies like Bata have curtailed the access of visitors to their offices. Foreign buyers are withdrawing work order in the garment sectors. Writ petitions have been filed to close down all courts. 

Thirty judicial officers returning from Australia were sent to home quarantine. Four doctors were also sent to home quarantine. Many airline companies have been curtailing their schedule and the government is planning to lock down the affected areas and halt transport service.

It is apparent that the nation is going to face a grave situation in the health sector which is a threat to the security and economic life of Bangladesh, said the letter.

The lawyers requested to issue a Proclamation of Emergency under Article 141A of the Constitution in order to ensure human-bio security threatened by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. 

According to article 141A of the Constitution, if the president agrees on the existence of a grave danger, which threatens the security or economic life of Bangladesh, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency.  

However, for its validity, such a proclamation shall require a prior counter signature from the prime minister.

On Wednesday, Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus death. 

The 70-year-old patient had high level of comorbidity – cardiac problems, high-blood pressure, kidney diseases, and diabetes.

Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed the total number of infections in the country to be 17, of whom three were released upon recovery while 13 others are undergoing treatment at hospitals.

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