A one-and-a-half-month long trade fair is going to start today (Thursday) in Cox's Bazar amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus pandemic.
The fair will be held at the tourist golf field adjacent to Cox's Bazar International Cricket Stadium.
In its first phase, the 2020-2021 edition of the fair will continue till 24 January 2021.
A joint organisation of journalists, Muktijoddha Sangsad and Cox's Bazar Chamber of Commerce is hosting the fair.
On behalf of Muktijoddha Sangsad, Nurul Absar has been allowed to host the trade exhibition from 10 December to 24 January. When the first phase is over, the second phase will begin.
According to the fair organisers, no inauguration ceremony will be held this year to stave off the impact of coronavirus and none will be allowed to enter the vicinity without facemask.
Two disinfection machines will be installed at the entrance of the fair ground and everything will be monitored by 32 CCTV cameras round the clock.
Cox's Bazar district administration did not approve textile product exhibition of women entrepreneurs, fearing the pandemic blow.
Every year hundreds of buyers crowd into the fair while 20 to 30 thousand people pay a visit to it.
The trade fair is all set to kick off. A huge royal aesthetic gate has been built at the entrance. There are 104 stalls for different products and 16 pavilions for myriad famous domestic companies at the fair.
There are adult entertainments including magic exhibitions, magazine programmes and various other events.
Experts say a lot of people will turn up in the hope of entertainment as had been in the past.
However, the trade fair draws mixed reaction from district people.
The hosting of such a fair has frightened everyone including the physicians.
Sources said the number of tourists has already declined in the wake of the second wave of coronavirus.
Cox's Bazar people's organisation president Comrade Gias Uddin said such a fair during the pandemic might lead to more Covid infections among people.
"In this situation, organising a trade fair is likely to end up in a fiasco. So, I think it is better not to hold it at such a critical time to make Cox's Bazar corona-free.
Cox's Bazar Sadar Upazila Chairman Kaysarul Haque Jewel said if the fair goes on amid the pandemic and the number of corona patients rises, the district administration has to take all responsibilities.
However, Deputy Commissioner Md Kamal Hossain ran counter to the apprehensions.
He said thousands of people are gathering on the beach every day while corona infection rate here is low.
"Moreover, as there is no shutdown, the fair has been allowed on the condition of ensuring health hygiene and keeping in mind the issue of economic growth," he added.
The fair will be closed if the outbreak of corona rises even after following hygiene rules, said the deputy commissioner.