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Coronavirus: Army, Navy begin patrolling streets to keep order

  • Published at 08:04 pm March 25th, 2020
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Bangladesh Army begin patrolling the streets in Alikadam upazila of Bandarban on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

Members of Bangladesh Air Force remain on standby to respond to any emergency, to provide necessary medical supplies and emergency transport

Armed forces personnel began their fieldwork across the country yesterday to help the civil administration ensure that people maintain social distancing and potential coronavirus patients remain in quarantine to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Rashedul Alam Khan, assistant director at the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) Directorate, said the forces went to work in line with the government's decision, reports UNB.

Rezaul Karim Shammi, also an ISPR assistant director, said Bangladesh Navy has too initiated their activities in 19 coastal upazila under five districts yesterday.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Air Force remains on standby to respond to any emergency, to provide necessary medical supplies and emergency transport, he said.

Earlier on Monday, the government decided to deploy members of the armed forces—Army, Navy and Air Force to tackle the coronavirus situation.

Following the government's directive, army personnel were sent to all the districts on Tuesday as part of the deployment. They also held coordination meetings with the local administration.

In Narayanganj, Bangladesh Army began patrolling all five upazilas of the district following a meeting at the DC office.

They will assist the district administration in ensuring that overseas returnees stay in home quarantine. At the same time, they will check on unscrupulous traders who might try to create an artificial food crisis by hoarding, said Jasim Uddin, deputy commissioner of the district.

In Bandarban, also following the government’s directives, the armed forces began patrolling the streets, while three upazilas—Lama, Alikadam, Naikhongchhari—remained under lockdown, confirmed Additional Deputy Commissioner Md Shamim.

In Comilla, although the initiatives of the armed forces and district administration succeeded in keeping most people in their homes, the streets were still busy with three-wheelers, even leading to traffic jams in some areas, said Akbar Hossain, a resident.

While transport workers said they could not carry out their responsibilities as their livelihood depended on their vehicles, locals alleged they were charging double, because of scarce transports.

In Barguna, Bangladesh Navy began patrolling four upazilas of the district to raise awareness and help the district administration prevent the virus from spreading, said Commander Noor-uz-Zaman.

Similar initiatives are being implemented in 19 other upazilas of coastal districts including Rangpur, Satkhira, Khulna, Jessore, Cox's Bazar, Mymensingh, Bagerhat and almost all other districts in the country, reports our district correspondents.

Members of the armed forces are set to prepare lists of coronavirus-infected people and assist the civil administration to take effective steps to ensure that those who have returned from abroad remain in home quarantine.

The army will also provide medical assistance at the division and district levels, if necessary. The armed forces personnel are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while on duty.

On Tuesday, Bangladesh confirmed its fifth death from coronavirus and reported six new cases, taking the number of cases to 39.