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Experts for regulating travel movements

Fear of virus infection from cattle markets

Published : 12 Jul 2020 10:25 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 10:33 AM

The National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 recommended preventing all home bound people from traveling during Eid-ul-Azha festival to minimize transmission of coronavirus.

The committee earlier had also suggested not allowing to set up cattle markets in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Chittagong. However, before endorsement of the recommendations, authorities of both the city corporations of Dhaka had finalized the lease of several cattle markets on Friday assuring to maintain all health safety rules.

Experts on health safety have already expressed serious concerns about further spread of the virus. They said that such public gathering may lead to another potential source of coronavirus where the virus can originate and transmit to customers and cattle traders.

The city corporation authorities claim that this time the cattle markets will not be as crowded and chaotic as noticed in the previous years. The regulatory body will monitor the leasers, buyers and cattle traders and enforce health safety rules.

Public health expert Dr Ahmed Hussain, talking to Bangladesh Post, echoed similar concerns saying, "Corona infection increased to a great extent due to the unregulated movement of homebound people traveling before and after the last Eid festival.” Hussain also reminded how unregulated movement of garments factory workers contributed to such spread of the virus.

“Therefore, lessons taken from previous experiences it has been proposed to regulate journeys of all homebound people before and after the Eid festival. If the government can implement NTAC proposals or recommendations, I think the infection rate will come down sharply," he added

Medicine specialist Aminul Islam emphasized on not allowing such public gathering like holding of cattle markets. He said, "Experiences show that the recommendations of the technical committee were ignored many times. But the government has to seriously consider the recommendations of the technical committee to bring the situation in the country under control.”

When asked the general secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) Professor Adil Muhammad Khan said, "The recommendation of the National Technical Advisory Committee on not allowing cattle markets in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Chittagong has a scientific basis. Considering that aspect those concerned should emphasize on following their advice.”

However, considering the economic and religious significance, it is necessary to ensure the supply of animals in these cities as well. In that case online buying and selling of sacrificial animals could be an option.