The prime minister made the announcement while addressing a videoconference on Tuesday
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged authorities concerned to make a list of lower middle class and poor people, who had been left out of the government’s social safety programs, and provide them with ration cards to ease their suffering from the coronavirus situation.
“I have already instructed the Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief to make a list of those who remain out of social safety programs, such as rickshawpullers and small shop owners, but depend on daily wages,” the premier said.
The prime minister made the announcement while addressing a videoconference on Tuesday with the public representatives and officials of 15 districts of Chittagong and Sylhet divisions on the present coronavirus situation in the country.
“The list has to be made for those who are really suffering right now. I want to say this strongly. These people cannot get out of their homes and they cannot beg for food. Make sure they and their children do not suffer,” she added.
The videoconference, which was aired live on state and public television channels, began around 10:05am at Ganabhaban in Dhaka.
At the same time, the premier also said the total incentive package of Tk72,750 crore was announced to ensure that fisherman, cottage industries, and small industries from the remotest areas of Bangladesh can also avail bank loans.
“If this is utilized accordingly, then we will not have any problems,” she said.
Issuing a stern warning for those trying to gain fortune during this crisis, the prime minister also said anyone involved with corruption will be caught and they will not be able to conceal their wealth.
“I will not spare them,” she warned.
At the same time, the premier also urged them to forgo their greed and take care of their neighbours instead.
On March 26, the government initiated a countrywide shutdown of all activities, except essential services, from March 26 till April 4 in order to enforce social distancing, a strategy crucial for slowing the spread of Covid-19. The shutdown was later extended twice to April 14.
At the same time, all public transports and domestic and international flights remain suspended due to the pandemic. The government also suspended holding mass prayers at mosques and other places of worship until further notice.
On Tuesday, 41 more people tested positive with Covid-19 in Bangladesh raising the total infected to 164. Five more people died taking the total death toll to 17. Of the 164 infected, 33 have recovered so far.
The fast spreading coronavirus has claimed 73,824 lives and infected 1,329,303 people worldwide till date, according to Worldometers. Around 293,454 people have recovered thus far.