Impossible to overcome challenge like Covid-19 pandemic without involvement of people, says BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir
The BNP on Friday proposed the formation of an “all-party committee” to involve people for containing the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Bangladesh.
"We think there is still time to form an all-party committee to get rid of the coronavirus problem. One thing we want to emphasize is that it is not possible to overcome a huge challenge like Covid-19 without the involvement of people,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a virtual press conference, he said it is necessary to involve people from all walks of life, political parties, different organizations and individuals to tackle the pandemic.
The BNP leader said effective campaigns should be launched to make people aware of the situation and the deadly virus. “People need to be given an idea of the severity of the disease to get their cooperation in the fight against it. Let us save the people and the country with united efforts based on a national consensus.”
He said a strategy should be worked out to protect both people's lives and livelihoods. “We call upon the government to provide adequate incentives to entrepreneurs of the informal sector.”
Besides, Fakhrul said that those who are working in the informal sector, including employees of shops and small factories, should be given allowances as long as the problem persists, especially when there is a lockdown.
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He also urged the government to carry out relief activities to mitigate the sufferings of the destitute and day-labourers.
The BNP leader demanded the government take effective steps to ensure vaccine for the majority and attain herd immunity to eliminate coronavirus.
"We have learned from experts that if Bangladesh wants to attain herd immunity, at least 125 million people must be vaccinated and health rules must be followed. But the government still could not manage the required number of vaccine doses,” he said.
He appreciated the government’s reported move to import vaccines from China and Russia but questioned: “Why didn’t you do this earlier?”
Fakhrul called upon the government to work out a roadmap to collect vaccines for at least 125 million people and properly distribute those in a bid to attain herd immunity.
Besides, he urged the government to take steps for ensuring healthcare facilities, enhancing testing capacities and increasing ICU beds for coronavirus infected people.
As the government is planning to enforce a full lockdown from April 14, he said the government should have a strategy to implement it by taking necessary steps to reduce public sufferings during the month of Ramadan.
Fakhrul called upon all units of the party to stand by Covid-19 patients and poor people affected by the lockdown.
Fakhrul said 400 leaders and activists of the BNP have so far died of Covid-19 while over 5,000 were infected with the virus.