Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim on Wednesday said the government has taken all necessary steps to address the crisis of milk, eggs, fish and meat during the ongoing precarious situation caused by the coronavirus.
“According to the World Health Organization, people should take nutritious food for enhancing their immune system and that’s why the government has taken all necessary steps to ensure the supply of milk, egg, fish and meat,” he said while talking to reporters at his Bailey Road residence.
Milk Vita authorities have been asked to preserve their pasteurised milk and supply it to consumers under their own management, the minister said.
He also urged Pran, Arong, Akij and other confectioneries to come forward from their respective position.
Besides, the sweetmeat shop owners were asked to remain open, Rezaul said.
“Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the government has taken a plan to provide incentives to farm owners through the World Bank. Besides, the government will consider waiving loan interest of affected farmers,” he said.
Livestock officials at the division, district and upazila levels have been directed to stand by the farmers, the minister added.
Another person has died from coronavirus in Bangladesh, taking the total death from the Covid-19 in the country to six.
Besides, three more people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the country, raising the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 54.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque disclosed the figures at an online press briefing on Wednesday.
"In the last 24 hours, 157 samples were collected and tested. Of these, three were found positive...one more person died in the last 24 hours. The total number of deaths from the coronavirus in the country is now six," he said.
The minister also said one more patient has recovered from the disease, raising the total number of people who have already made recovery to 26.
He claimed that the country's medical facilities are capable enough to handle the crisis. "Every day, we’re improving our healthcare system. Ventilators are being added to different hospitals. In addition, we’re preparing more hospitals to treat coronavirus patients," he said.
A free transport service for caregivers, including doctors and nurses, was launched on Wednesday so that they can go to hospitals in a faster and convenient way amid their fight against the coronavirus.
A number of busses and microbuses have been arranged to pick up doctors and nurses from their homes and drop them at hospitals in three shifts -- at 8am, 2pm and 8pm -- in a day in the capital.
Apart from the scheduled shuttle services, transport will also be provided for the doctors and nurses in case of emergency calls within the capital, said a press release.
Under the supervision of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), non-governmental organisation ‘The Earth Society’ and vehicle IT solution firm ‘Bondstein Technologies’ jointly took the initiative with support of DBL Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Dhaka Hub of Global Shapers.
The service was named as ‘Crack Platoon Transport Service’ inspired by the famous guerrilla unit named ‘Crack Platoon’ that had conducted a number of heroic commando operations in Dhaka during the War of Liberation in 1971.
Over 250 doctors and caregivers have so far registered in the website for availing themselves of the service and any doctor or caregiver in need of the service can register through the website – bit.ly/crackplatoontransport and can call at the hotline number – 09639595959.
Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka ranked second worst in the Air Quality Index (AQI) on Wednesday morning.
The city had a score of 164 at 08:01am, indicating that the air quality was ‘unhealthy’.
A numerical value between 151 and 200 indicates that everyone may begin to experience health effects. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
Thailand’s Chiang Mai and Poland’s Krakow occupied the first and third spots with scores of 203 and 161 respectively.
Scores between 201 and 300 is classified as ‘very unhealthy’. If the score is between 301 and 500, then it is classified as ‘hazardous’.
The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, tells people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.
Dhaka, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, has been grappling with air pollution for a long time. The air quality generally worsens during summer and shows signs of improvement in monsoon when the dust settles.