Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday assured the people that the government has paid special attention to keeping them safe from coronavirus amid apprehensions of worsening virus situation in winter months.
She said the government will procure a vaccine as soon as it is available and has already given advance money for booking a vaccine which is about to be invented.
"We've given special attention to how to secure people (from coronavirus) putting aside other issues … So, the people of the country don't need to be anxious," she said while opening various development projects, including three bridges, in Magura, Narayanganj, Jashore and Pabna through a video conference from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Sheikh Hasina said that another wave of coronavirus is coming worldwide and the government is taking its preparations from now to face that.
She again urged everyone to follow health instructions. "Keep yourself protected and keep others protected," she said, adding that it is a shared responsibility.
The Prime Minister said the government and the people now have the experience of facing Covid-19.
"We firmly believe that we'll be able to do that (successfully tackling a second wave)," she said.
Bangladesh's coronavirus caseload stands at 445,281 with 6,350 fatalities, a death rate of 1.43 percent.
So far, 360,352 patients – 80.93 percent – have recovered, including 1,921 in the last 24 hours.
Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18. Although the Prime Minister has been warning of a second wave, the people still appear reluctant to follow health guidelines.
The government has recently adopted a 'no mask, no service' policy and recently, launched a drive to ensure the use of masks by people.
Bridges to spur growth
Talking about the newly-constructed bridges in Magura, Narayanganj and Jashore, Sheikh Hasina said that the socio-economic condition of the people will improve with the developed communication system.
She said that after coming to power, the Awami League government has built a huge communication network in the country.
"As a result, today our economy is very much active, we've started so many projects, Inshallah we'll complete them," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that the newly-constructed bridges in Jashore, Magura and Narayanganj would make the economy stronger, while communication and transportation of goods would be easier.
These will also play a very significant role for the socio-economic development of the respective areas and alleviating poverty from the region, she opined.
The Prime Minister said the Padma Bridge would make communication networks easier with other parts of the country as the newly-constructed bridges were open to traffic today.
Besides, every region, particularly the southern part of the country, would be more developed once the construction of the mega project is completed.
Sheikh Hasina said that as a political party, Awami League always worked with a farsighted economic plan and it implemented all the plans undertaken in light of the directives in the Constitution.
As a result, the people get good results of the initiatives of the Awami League government, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government could not implement all of its development plans due to the coronavirus pandemic this year.
But, the coordinated efforts of all including administration, police, BGB, RAB, and the Armed Forces, made it possible to keep the economy running, she said and extended her sincere thanks to all concerned for their efforts.
LGRD Minister M Tajul Islam and LGRD Secretary Helaluddin Ahmad also spoke joining the event through video conference from the Cabinet division at Bangladesh Secretariat while businessmen Anjan Chowdhury also spoke at the programme from Pabna.
Earlier, the Prime Minister inaugurated a number of newly-constructed development projects through video conferencing from Ganobhaban.
The projects include newly-constructed 600.7-metre Sheikh Hasina Bridge over Madhumati River at Angkhali Ghat of Mohammad Upazila under Magura district, 576.21m Muktijodhha Golam Dastogir Gazi (Bir Protik) Bridge over Shitaloksha River under Narayanganj, 702.55m bridge over Bhairab River on Amtola Jisivia Moricha-Nauli Bazar road from Jashore-Khulna Highway and Bir Muktijoddha Rafiqul Islam Bakul Shadhinota Square at Pabna.