| 31 Mar 2020, 00:00 | Update : 31 Mar 2020, 17:46
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday suggested the government to form a national committee to contain the coronavirus outbreak and its fallout.
“We’re not criticizing the government for the sake of opposing its activities. We want to cooperate with the government as we called for working unitedly to tackle the current situation,” he told reporters at his Uttara residence.
The BNP leader further said, “No national committee has been formed yet. Bangladesh is a country of 160 million people…it’ll be good for the country if a national unity can be forged to tackle such a serious crisis. We think there’s still time to form a national committee.”
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina can take an initiative to constitute the national committee comprising politicians, experts and civil society members. “This committee members need not to sit together as they can hold meetings through videoconferencing. Then everybody will feel that we’re one nation and we can do many things.”
Fakhrul called upon their party leaders and activists to stand by poor people and provide them food as per their ability maintaining personal safety.
About the fallout of coronavirus on the country’s economy, he said most people depend on their daily income, but now they can’t earn money due to the current situation. “We’ll have to face a grievous situation if immediate and effective steps are not taken to provide those people with food. We may witness a 1974-like disastrous situation. The government has to look into the matter.”
The BNP leader said the government can employ army to stand by the poor and jobless people with the help of public representatives at the grassroots level and the political parties.
He said now people are not getting treatment at hospitals as the government is failing to handle the current situation. “We’re repeatedly saying we all must come forward to protect the nation considering the current situation from the humanitarian point of view instead of political point of view.”
Fakhrul said the government must work out a plan as to how opposition parties and government employees can effectively be utilized to overcome the crisis.
He said the coronavirus spread can be prevented here had the government taken proper steps in due time when the virus was wreaking a havoc on China.