The government should allow no temporary sacrificial cattle markets in Dhaka city and set up these on the outskirts of the capital ahead of Eid-Ul-Azha to prevent further escalation of Covid-19 outbreak, according to an intelligence report.
The report, submitted recently, said the authorities concerned should consider permitting the daily cattle markets instead of weekly operation two weeks before the EId to lessen the pressure.
It also recommended encouraging and patronising online cattle markets due to the rising number of coronavirus infections.
If online cattle markets are boosted up, unwanted rushes on the temporary and permanent cattle markets will decrease, according to the report.
Several locations including RAJUK Purbachal Project, Tongi BiswaIjtema ground, RAJUK Uttara Project-phase III, RAJUK Keraniganj-Jhilimili Project, Purbachal 300 feet and East side of Aftabnagar are recommended as suitable places for temporary sacrificial animal markets.
Besides, cattle markets across the country are operated a day in a week throughout the year, which intelligences advised for daily operation, starting two weeks before the Eid.
As most of the leasers of these weekly cattle markets are experienced on how to operate the markets, it would be easy to maintain social distance and follow hygiene guidelines there, the report said.
Most of the unskilled, inexperienced and new people get lease of the temporary cattle markets due to their political influences. For these inexperienced leasers, it will be very tough to operate these temporary cattle markets amid COVID-19.
Recently, the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) finalized the lists of the temporary sacrificial animal markets with 13 markets fall under the DSCC jurisdiction and another 10 under the DNCC.
The DSCC proposed temporary cattle markets on the open spaces and the adjoining areas of North Shajahanpur Moitri Sangha playground, Meradia bazaar, , Armanitola playground, Gopibagh Balur Mat, Kamalapur Stadium, Dania College area, Dupkhola playground, Dholaikhal Truck Stand, part of Aftabnagar, Ashulia Model Town and Lalbagh’s Rahmatgangj Sporting Club playground.
While the DNCC proposed temporary cattle markets on the abandoned areas of Bhasantek road, and the open spaces of Vatara area, Dhaka Polytechnic Institute playground, Badda Eastern Housing, Mohammadpur Police Lines, Mirpur section-6 (Eastern Housing), Uttara section no. 15, Uttara section no. 17 (Brindabon to BGMEA) and Kaola to Sialdanga areas.
Intelligences mentioned that setting up temporary cattle markets has been proposed on the Shajahanpur Moitri Sangha and the Armanitola playgrounds and the adjoining areas.
But Shajahanpur colony areas are currently marked as a red zone while the government has designated Mohanagr Hospital for COVID-19 treatment, which is located near to proposed cattle market on the Armanitola playground, the report revealed.
If the temporary sacrificial animals markets are allowed to operate the risk of coronavirus infection will rise and it, too, can spread among the hospital staff, the report warned.
Besides, the report informed the government that health guideline are not being followed in most of the weekly cattle markets in Dhaka’s Gabtoli, Demra and Ashulia areas, as well as Cumilla, Noakhalli, Netrakona, Chuadanga, Kustia, Bogra, Khulna, Satkhira and Rajshahi, posing a great risk of spreading the COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.