As of Monday, a total of 803 people have been infected with Covid-19 in Bangladesh
Pohela Boishakh, the first day of the Bangla New Year, is celebrated every year on April 14 amid festivities and much enthusiasm.
But this year, all programs have been cancelled to avoid mass gatherings in a bid to curb the transmission of coronavirus, reports UNB.
The celebrations of Pahela Baishakh have become an integral part of Bangalis since it began over six centuries back.
Mughal Emperor Akbar introduced the Bangla calendar in the 1556 of the Gregorian calendar in a bid to streamline the timing of land tax collection in the then “Subah Bangla” region, the much of which falls under Bangladesh.
The day is a public holiday.
On the occasion, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages greeting the country's people and all Bangla-speaking people across the globe.
Extending greetings to all Bangladeshis living at home and abroad, President Abdul Hamid said thousands of people are getting infected with the virus and dying across the world every day and Bangladesh has also been attacked.
“Our main responsibility is now to protect the people and the country from the clutches of coronavirus,” he said, adding that it is a must to maintain social distancing and follow health guidelines for this.
In her message, the prime minister extended her greetings to all Bangladeshis and urged the people to avoid public gatherings and celebrate the Bangla New Year digitally from home.
In her speech, she said the government has imposed a ban on all outdoor programs to celebrate Pohela Boishakh due to the deadly coronavirus.
"It has been done thinking about the greater public health condition. Because, this virus, meanwhile, has started putting its appalling claws in our country, too," said the premier in her 16-minute nationwide televised address marking the Bangla Noboborsho 1427 from her official Ganabhaban residence lawn on Monday.
The program of the Cultural Affairs Ministry would be broadcasted by all channels from 8:30am today as per the directive of the prime minister, the ministry said in a statement on Monday.
As of Monday, a total of 803 people have been infected with Covid-19 in Bangladesh. The virus claimed 39 lives till date and 42 people have recovered.
Earlier, the Cabinet Division instructed authorities concerned to postpone all programs of Pohela Boishakh to avoid mass gatherings.