Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Tuesday said steps have been taken so that garment workers cannot enter Dhaka from outside as RMG factories will be operated on a limited scale with workers staying in Dhaka now.
“Garment factory workers who are now available in Dhaka can join factories… no one from outside will be allowed to come to Dhaka for work, and necessary steps have been taken in this regard,” he said.
The minister came up with the government decision while talking to reporters after attending a meeting with the owners of garment factories held at the Secretariat.
Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) were present at the meeting.
During the meeting, the garment owners said they are operating garment factories with the workers available in Dhaka on a limited scale and they are maintaining hygiene issues, said Asaduzzaman.
The authorities concerned are aware about it, he said.
“The garment factory owners said 98 percent wages of the workers for the month of March have been paid while the rest will be paid soon. Besides, the wages for the month of April will be disbursed soon,” said the minister.
President of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Rubana Huq on Friday said the reopening of their factories on April 26 fully depends on the improvement of coronavirus situation in the country.
“We’ll finalise the decision to reopen the factories considering how the corona situation goes on,” she told UNB.
Rubana said they are observing the situation. “We won’t reopen the factories killing people or putting our workers in trouble.”
She said they will consult relevant stakeholders and the authorities concerned before reopening the RMG factories.
The apex body of the apparel sector had also tried to reopen the factories on April 5 and several thousand workers gone to Dhaka from the adjoining districts taking too much of trouble amid the shutdown and the serious risk of coronavirus infection.
As the government extended the shutdown until April 25, the BGMEA authorities also revised its decision to reopen the factories.
Confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 6,462 in Bangladesh on Tuesday after the health authorities reported 549 new cases and three fatalities.
“In the last 24 hours, 549 people were diagnosed with coronavirus in the country,” said Additional Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr Nasima Sultana in the daily health bulletin broadcast.
During this period, three people died from coronavirus surging the total deaths to 155.