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Workers returning to Dhaka ignoring coronavirus risks

The workers of industrial and readymade garment factories started returning to their workplaces in the capital on Monday amid growing concern over a massive coronavirus outbreak.

People from the country’s south-western part have been gathering at ferry pontoons of Paturia and Aricha since Sunday. Barely any of them had any protective gears.

They are getting on trucks, pick-up vans or rickshaws to reach their destinations while some were seen walking, locals said.

Workers are desperate to save their jobs. Some of them said they had to pay excessive fare for transportation due to the shutdown.

Superintendent of police Rifat Rahman Shamim said local administration should have stopped the returnees to leave their houses.

“We can’t stop them in the middle of the journey as it can trigger more chaos,” he said.

Police are on the look out to stop any mass gatherings, he added.

On 10 April, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BKMEA) decided to keep all garment factories closed until 25 April.

On 23 April, the government extended the general holidays till 5 May to tackle the worsening coronavirus situation.

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