Protecting people, keeping economy moving is ‘war’

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said keeping away people from getting infected with coronavirus and running the wheels of economy simultaneously is a “war”.

“We have also taken steps so that economic activities could continue running; we have been able to place a budget. This is a kind of war,” she said.

The PM was speaking in parliament taking part in the condolence motion on former minister and ruling Awami League presidium member Mohammad Nasim.

The House also expressed deep shock at the death of state minister for religious affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.

Hasina said deaths of her two co-fighters — Nasim and Abdullah — were very much painful to her as both of them were always beside her in all movements and struggles.

She said Covid-19 brought the whole world to a standstill.

“The world is now under the grip of panic of death. This is very much strange. We’ve never seen this kind of situation in the past,” she said.

In this connection, she said when she was coming to parliament yesterday, many of her well-wishers requested her not to go there.

But she turned down their requests, saying that she had faced bullets, bombs and grenades, and she would not sit idle, fearing the virus.

“This fear has clutched the whole world, whether it is a developed, developing, poor country or a powerful one in terms of arms and money. The situation is the same everywhere,” she said.

The PM said the spread of this virus and deaths started to go up in one place and then it stopped at one stage.

“The wave of this virus has entered South Asia after travelling to western countries,” she said.

She mentioned that the government was trying its best to convince the people to maintain health guidelines properly.

“This is a deadly infectious virus; all have to follow the health guidelines to save themselves,” she said.

Hasina said this was the reality that people could not be left out without feeding them in fear of coronavirus. “We have to look after their livelihoods.”

“We have decided to lockdown the particular places where the infection spread widely so that this spreading could not infect new places,” she said.

In an emotion-choked voice, the PM recalled her memories with Nasim and Abdullah. She termed their deaths irreplaceable loss for the country and AL.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition GM Quader, Matia Chowdhury, Kazi Firoze Rashid, Mrinal Kanti Das, Mostafa Lutfullah, and M Habibe Millat also participated in the condolence motion.

A one-minute silence was observed and a munajat offered seeking eternal peace of the departed souls. Deputy Speaker M Fazle Rabbi Miah conducted the munajat.


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