The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has urged the government to vaccinate ready-made garment workers keeping them on the list of the frontline fighters.
BGMEA president Faruque Hassan, in a meeting at its Gulshan office on Monday, said the organisation has recently sent a letter to the health ministry and the Prime Minister's Office in this regard.
BGMEA senior vice president SM Mannan (Kochi), vice-presidents Md Shahidullah Azim, Md Nasir Uddin and Rakibul Alam Chowdhury and directors Md Mohiuddin Rubel, Md Khosru Chowdhury and Md Imranur Rahman attended the meeting.
The BGMEA president urged the government to consider the workers as frontline fighters as they were in production during the Covid-19 period.
As the workers are below 40 years of age, no worker has been vaccinated against Covid-19 so far. Vaccination is essential for all workers and their families to avoid any kind of risk in supply of clothing amid the global competition, he explained.
SM Mannan (Kochi) said no garment workers have died from Covid-19 so far. The number of infected persons is also negligible. As the workers are younger, they have more immunity. Additionally, BGMEA has taken all measures -- including the use of all safety measures to ensure workers' safety from Covid-19, including lab tests. So, the workers become safe.
Besides, the Covid-19 situation in the United States and Europe has begun to return to normal. They are also getting higher prices of garments at a proportional rate due to increase in cotton and yarn prices, he said.
Entrepreneurs have also learned to continue the production, coping techniques amid Covid-19. For that, garment exports could reach 31.5 billion by the end of the current fiscal year, which ends next month, the BGMEA president added.