In the interest of the country's economy, the apparel factories have been kept out of the lockdown purview
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said that they were closely monitoring member factories on whether they were complying with health directives to prevent spread of Covid-19 or not.
Faruque Hassan, president of BGMEA, revealed this in a video message on Tuesday.
The government plans to isolate Dhaka for nine days by putting seven districts, including four districts surrounding the capital, into strict lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The measure has been taken as a wave of Covid-19 from the border districts, believed to be caused by the Indian (Delta) variant, appears to be heading towards the capital.
However, in the interest of the country's economy, the apparel factories have been kept out of the lockdown purview, Hassan mentioned.
He also said that the health directives formulated for BGMEA member factories in light of the advice of the Ministry of Health, ILO, and World Health Organization were strictly being followed.
"Even then, BGMEA is closely monitoring the factories to see if they are complying with the proper rules. So far, we are getting satisfactory results,” he added.
The BGMEA president also said that a world-class lab has been set up at Chandra in Gazipur to test apparel workers for Covid-19.
Another lab has been set up in Chittagong. The rate Covid-19 positive cases of RMG workers have come down to almost zero, Hassan stated.
“Moreover, realizing the surge amid the current situation, we decided to carry out more stringent monitoring in the factories. In this case, if the government gives additional or stricter health guidelines, then we will keep the factories running by maintaining these,” said BGMEA president.
Sirajul Azad, senior general manager of Bitopi Group, said that their factories were complying with the government's health directives.
Their workers are also highly aware of the directives, thus do not need any new orientation, he also said.
“We have factories in Manikganj and our factories remain open in compliance with all health directives provided by the BGMEA, health ministry and the ILO,” he added.
The seven-district lockdown came into effect from Tuesday and will continue until June 30.
Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam made the announcement at the Secretariat on Monday.
The seven districts that have been given lockdown are Manikganj, Munshiganj, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Rajbari, Madaripur and Gopalganj.
According to the circular, the movement of common people in these districts will be completely closed till June 30 as well as public transport.
Market-shopping mall, public-private offices will also be closed (except for emergency government offices).
Only law enforcement and emergency services will be able to operate during this lockdown, said the circular.