Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the nation not to be inhumane towards individuals infected with Covid-19.
Expressing regret, she said, "Sometimes, we show an inhumane attitude towards [novel] coronavirus-infected people out of fear. If a family member is sick, it is not right to push him or her away.''
Hasina was speaking at a donation handover ceremony for her relief and welfare fund, through videoconference, from her official residence Ganabhaban on Sunday morning.
Her Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus received the donation cheques on her behalf at her office.
Expressing her hope the current pandemic will be overcome, the prime minister urged the nation to keep courage on their minds.
She said, "[The novel] coronavirus has caused a huge shock and we are facing different obstacles. I hope we will overcome all the obstacles and move forward. During illness or suffering, we are cured if we have self-confidence."
Mentioning that people are suffering a lot due to the shutdown, the prime minister said the government is trying to gradually reopen some sectors so that the poor can earn their livelihoods.
She said, "We know people are suffering a lot. We have been trying our best to deliver food to their doorsteps."
"Since the paddy of this season has almost been harvested, people should not suffer much from food shortages," said the prime minister, who called on farmers who harvested huge amounts of paddy to stand by the poor during this crisis period.
Noting the economy has been badly affected by the pandemic, the premier said the people who were dependent on day labour have lost their work.
"Many people have become jobless in our country. It is difficult for them to make a living, though we have been trying our best to help them," Hasina said.
In her speech, the premier urged the countrymen to abide by all instructions of the Directorate General of Health Services and the World Health Organisation. "If we are able to abide by those instructions, we will be protected. If we stay clean, keep safe and avoid gatherings, we will be safe from infection."
The prime minister received contributions from 57 organisations and individuals – mostly from ministries, universities, and associations – for her relief and welfare fund to help the poor affected by the fallout of Covid-19.
The Communist Party of China donated 50,000 surgical masks. Meanwhile, an individual, Mostasim Billah Siam, donated money.
The Primary and Mass Education Ministry, Willes Little Flower School and College, the Secondary and Higher Education Division, the Technical and Madrassa Education Division, Khulna Agricultural University, Cumilla University, Pabna University of Science and Technology, Islamic University, Khulna University, Bangamata Sheikh Fojilatunnesa Mujib Science and Technology University, Sheikh Hasina University, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology, North South University, Noakhali Science and Technology University, and Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University made contributions.
The Posts and Telecommunications Division, Information and Communication Technology Division, Nagad, the commerce ministry, the agriculture ministry, the women and children affairs ministry, the Security Services Division, the industries ministry, the Bangladesh Election Commission Secretariat, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation, Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited, the defence ministry, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, the Dhaka Stock Exchange, the Chattogram Stock Exchange, Jiban Bima Corporation, Sadharan Bima Corporation, Investment Corporation of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Insurance Association, the Bangladesh Bar Council, the Bangladesh Judicial Service Association, the BCS (Customs and VAT) Association, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the BCS Agriculture Association, the Bangladesh Election Commission Officers' Association, and the poultry association also donated to the fund.
Other donors included: the Bangabandhu Diploma Engineers' Council, the Roads and Highways Diploma Engineers' Association, the Bangladesh PWD Diploma Engineers' Association, the Bangladesh Tea Association, the Bangladesh Engineers Club Limited, the Buet Teachers' Association, the Bangladesh Registration Service Association, Thermax Group, Max Group, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Purbachal Club Limited, and Jahangirnagar University.