Bangladesh on March 8 reportedly announced that it will scale down its preparations for the birth centenary celebrations of its founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This decision came as three positive cases of the deadly coronavirus were reported in the country on March 8.
AK Abdul Momen, country’s foreign minister told international media that the planned celebrations for the Mujib Year had been rearranged in the view of the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus. The year-long celebrations were scheduled to open at the National Parade Ground in Dhaka on March 17.
According to reports, several foreign dignitaries including PM Modi were expected to attend the grand opening. Momen reportedly said that Bangladesh would convey about the rearrangement of the planned opening to the foreign dignitaries and leave it on them if they would come or not. The remarks came as the nation’s PM Shaikh Hasina directed the event’s organisers to scale down planned festivities.
On March 8 Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) reportedly confirmed the first three positive cases in Bangladesh. The IEDCR Director Meerjady Sabrina said that the affected people are aged between 20 and 35 and two of them recently returned from Italy. Sabrina further urged people not to panic as the government hopes it will be under control.
While speaking at a press briefing, Sabrina said, “Both of them are from separate families. After they went back to their homes, they called our hotlines to get tested. Later, they tested positive”. She further added, “After that, we started testing people who came into contact with the two returnees and that is how we found the third affected coronavirus patient. Three others who were in their contact are in quarantine at the moment”.
This comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was scheduled to visit Bangladesh, has cancelled the trip amid the surging coronavirus threat, as per the sources. PM Modi was scheduled to attend the grand ceremony of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth centenary on March 17 which has also been cancelled after Bangladesh confirmed its first batch of coronavirus cases.