The Election Commission will keep the National Identity (NID) services suspended until March 31 as many expatriates, who recently returned home in the wake of global coronavirus outbreak, were gathering to avail of the services.
"We've taken the decision to keep the NID services suspended until March 31 considering public safety. The suspension came into effect today (Sunday)," Director General of the National Identity Registration Wing Brig Gen Saidul Islam told UNB.
All sorts of NID services, including fresh registration, correction, recollection and changing (voting) addresses will remain stopped at all the EC offices, including its central and upazila/thana offices across the country, he said.
"Many expatriates who recently returned home are coming to get registered as voters and have NID cards. They need to stand in queues which is endangering the safety of other service-seekers and EC staff. So, we've suspended the services receiving complaints from other service-seekers and EC staff," the NID DG said.
He said most NID service seekers were expatriates in the last few weeks.
He, however, said they will consider providing the services in urgent cases till March 31. "If anyone requires NID services for any urgent need like emergency treatment, we must consider it," he said.
Later, the commission will take further decision considering the situation of Covid-19, said Saidul Islam.