The Police Headquarters has urged people to extend cooperation to police, who are working to curb the coronavirus, instead of spreading rumours and misleading information against them in the greater interest of the country and the nation.
It also warned that appropriate legal action will be taken against rumour-mongers, said a press note issued by the Police Headquarters on Monday. “Our cyber teams are working to find out those spreading rumours and misleading information,” it said.
According to the press note signed by Assistant Inspector General (AIG-Media) of the Police Headquarters Md Sohel Rana, over 2 lakh members of Bangladesh Police have been working relentlessly from the very beginning following government directives to prevent the spread of coronavirus and ensure the welfare of the country and the nation.
Police are interacting with millions of people across the country every day while performing their duties and some of them have been accused of using unwanted force during certain events or interactions, it said.
Unit commanders were ordered to investigate the incidents immediately after those surfaced, the press note said.
It said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) personally spoke to all operational commanders through videoconferencing and mobile phone and they instructed officers deployed at the field level accordingly.
As a result, there was neither the repetition of such incident nor there was any report in the print, electronic and online media, the press note said.
However, a few media outlets are still publishing reports on old allegations in such a way that seems to be of present time. In addition, a vested quarter is making posts on social media by manipulating old pictures and videos which is demoralising police who have been working for the welfare of the country and the people in various ways taking life risk at this crucial time, it said.
“All concerned are being fervently requested to assist the police instead of spreading rumours and misleading information against them in the greater interest of the country and the nation,” it said.
A court here on Monday sent a bank official to jail over threatening to rape Sayema Hasan, former assistant commissioner (Land) of Monirampur upazila.
The convict is Zafar Ahmed, son of Abu Bakar Siddique of Jatrabari in Dhaka and a bank official of Dutch Bangla Bank Limited.
Sub Inspector (investigation) Zahir Raihan of Monirampur Police Station, said police produced Zafar Ahmed before Jashore Senior Judicial Magistrate Court and prayed five days remand but the judge sent him to jail after rejecting his bail petition.
On Sunday, Sayema Hasan filed a case against Jafar Ahmed and several others with Monirampur Police Station over the rape threat posted on Facebook.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Deceive Branch) arrested Zafar from his residence in Dhaka’s Jatrabari on the same day and handed him over to Monirampur Police Station.
On March 28, Sayema Hasan was withdrawn from Monirampur and attached to the Khulna Divisional Commissioner’s office after huge criticisms on social media over the humiliation of three old people in public during a mobile court operation at Chinatola Bazar in the upazila for not using masks.
The executive magistrate also captured a photo of the punishment, which went viral on social media and sparked huge criticisms.
A mobile court here on Monday fined a weekly ‘haat’ (Bazar) lessee Tk 20,000 on charge of keeping open weekly ‘haat’ at Shibalaya in Manikganj defying government directive.
AFM Feroz Mahmud, Shibalaya Upazila Nirbahi Officer and executive magistrate of the mobile court, fined the lessee after conducting raid in Borongail ‘haat’ of the upazila in the afternoon.
Local administration issued directive to stop functioning of all kinds of weekly ‘haat’ of the district to check the outbreak of Coronovirus.
However, Mir Shaheen, leaser of Borongail ‘haat’, kept the weekly hat open defying the government restriction. The lessee was fined because he defied government prohibition.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Monday said the Chinese side will work hand in hand with the government of Bangladesh and all sectors of Bangladesh society to contain the situation overcoming the temporary difficulties.
He expressed the hope that they together will emerge from the crisis with even stronger partnership.
"Through solidarity and mutual support, China and Bangladesh will prevail over this outbreak, and together we shall embrace a brighter future for mankind," Ambassador Jiming said in an open letter to the people of Bangladesh.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and China and over the years, the two countries have respected, understood and supported each other, he said.
Ambassador Jiming said pragmatic cooperation in all fields has been greatly expanded, which benefits not only the peoples of the two countries but also the development of the entire region.
"It should be clearly and rationally understood that the impact of the epidemic on China and Bangladesh's economies is temporary and controllable," he said.
In his letter titled "We Shall Stay with Bangladesh in Building a Community of Common Health", the ambassador said the Chinese government has donated 20 million dollars to WHO and announced assistance to more than 89 countries in forms of medical supplies and expertise.
Seven teams of Chinese medical experts have been dispatched to some of the most severely-affected countries, including Iran, Iraq, Italy, Serbia and so on.
Local governments in China and Chinese enterprises and civil organisations have also been donating supplies to cities and countries affected, said the Ambassador.
Jiming said Bangladesh has seen a "moderate increase" in the number of confirmed cases since early March. "Though the Bangladeshi government has undertaken a series of resolute, strong and effective measures to curb the disease, there’re inevitably concerns over how the situation will evolve."
At this crucial stage in the fight against the epidemic, the Chinese Ambassador said, the Embassy of China wishes to express its full confidence in Bangladesh and the solidarity of the local Chinese community with our Bangladeshi friends. "We shall stay with Bangladesh in this war against the common enemy."
Jiming said they shall stay with Bangladesh in the implementation of key cooperation projects to make sure that both during and after the epidemic, Bangladeshi workers on the projects will remain employed and the construction will go on as long as the situation permits.
"We shall stay with Bangladesh in our bilateral trade and supply chains to help Bangladesh stabilize its market share and keep local factories up and running to produce critical medical equipment, with the Chinese airlines remaining in operation," he said.
He said they, from the Embassy of China, will also stay with Bangladesh to continue to provide necessary services and engage in political discourses with the Bangladeshi side as we always do.
Ambassador Jiming said they will stay with Bangladesh in combating the disease and addressing the medical needs.
"As of today, China has donated 40,500 test kits, 15,000 surgical N95 masks, 300,000 medical masks, 10,000 protective gowns and 1,000 infrared thermometers to Bangladesh for medical workers and others who are most in need, with more supplies to arrive in the near future," he said.
The Embassy is also organising a video conference between top Chinese medical experts and Bangladeshi doctors and nurses to provide training and instructions for managing the disease, said Jiming.
At present, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating and spreading across the world, including in Bangladesh where 49 cases have been recorded so far.
The Chinese ambassador said this pandemic threatens the safety of the people of all countries and tests the common wisdom of human society.
After a strenuous struggle and tremendous sacrifices, the situation of epidemic prevention and control in China continues to improve, with the order of production and life being restored at an increasing pace.
"China is by no means alone in its fight against the epidemic. The international community has given us much valuable support. Leaders of over 170 countries and heads of more than 40 international and regional organizations have either sent messages showing sympathy or issued statements of support for China. Such expressions of friendship will always be remembered and cherished by the Chinese people," he said.
Ambassador Jiming said they are deeply touched by the people of Bangladesh as they firmly stand by the Chinese people in the fight against COVID-19.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent a letter of sympathy and support to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The government and civil societies of Bangladesh donated various kinds of medical and health supplies to the Chinese people, he said, adding that many special prayers were also held for China by Bangladeshi religious circles.
"A friend in need is a friend indeed. The heart-touching actions speak of the long-term and profound friendship between the people of China and Bangladesh," said the ambassador.
At the recent G20 Leaders’ Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasised that it is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response so that humanity as one could win the battle against such a major infectious disease, echoing the repeated calls for coordinated efforts from the UN Secretary General and the Director General of WHO, said ambassador Jiming.
In the era of globalisation, he said, all nations are highly interdependent, which makes solidarity and cooperation the most powerful weapon in the fight against this pandemic that endangers humanity as a whole.
"Only by working together to build a community of common health for mankind can we enhance the common well-being of all and safeguard the common future of mankind," said the Chinese envoy.
Guided by such a vision, China is more than ready to provide assistance where they can to other countries and contribute to a stable world economy, he said.
The government has so far allocated Tk 9 crore in cash and 31,000 metric tons of rice for the low-income people across the country as they remained without any work following the restrictive measures taken to tackle the coronavirus.
They are being provided with the assistance through the district and upazila administrations, said a PID handout on Monday.
Both the financial and food assistance were allocated through the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry.
According to the statistics of the National Disaster Response Coordination Centre, the government has so far allocated Tk 88,972,264 and 31,217 metric tons of rice for the low-income people in 64 districts, said the PID handout.
In a desperate attempt to curb the coronavirus in the country, the government declared a 10-day general holiday from March 26 until April 4.
Besides, bus, train, launch and air services were suspended and markets and shopping malls were shut down apart from the closure of all educational institutions with a message to all: Stay Home.
Bangladesh has so far reported five deaths from the coronavirus. Besides, 25 patients are currently under treatment in the country while 19 others have already made recovery.