It would be a crucial decision if the coronavirus spreads in the coastal areas where proper treatment for Covid-19 patients is not yet available
The authorities concerned are considering turning passenger launches into isolation centres to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The launch owners have already agreed to the proposal and further steps will be taken after consulting with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, state minister for the Ministry of Shipping, disclosed the information at a discussion meeting with the launch owners held on Saturday at Sadarghat in Dhaka.
The state minister said: “The decision to turn launches into isolation centres will be crucial if the spread of coronavirus reaches the coastal areas where proper treatment for Covid-19 patients is not yet available.
“The launches are currently scattered in different places. The decision on how to bring them to a safe place will be made after discussing the matter at the cabinet meeting,” he added.
Khalid said the government will keep aiding the shipping workers until the coronavirus crisis is averted.
“The government will obviously look into the concerns of the launch owners. The government has already provided incentives to the export-oriented industries,” he commented.
He further remarked: “Our shipping sector plays an important role as 35 percent of all transport is done through waterways, so it must be considered with a positive outlook.”
The state minister distributed 200 packets of food among the workers at Sadarghat.
The authorities are also thinking about turning idle coaches of Bangladesh Railway into quarantine and isolation centres to treat Covid-19 patients, as train services have been suspended from March 24.
Trains go to many remote areas of the country where treatment facilities are not available so far for Covid-19 patients, said Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan on Wednesday.
Earlier, the Ministry of Youth and Sports announced that all the stadiums of the country would be temporarily turned into hospitals for coronavirus affected patients.