Amid the government's directives to law enforcers and the local administration not to do excesses with the general people, two photojournalists were physically assaulted by a policeman for taking photos of a campaign to prevent coronavirus transmission.
The victim - Shafin Ahmed of Dainik Desh Janapad and Nasir Uddin of Dainik Dakhiner Muk - said a policeman beat them up without any reasons while taking photos at Barisal University area on Friday evening.
Ratul, also the general secretary of Barishal Photojournalist Association, said a team led by Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mosharraf Hossain was conducting a campaign to raise awareness about coronavirus.
A policeman, wearing a mask and without an insignia, approached them and asked who they were. As soon as they said they were photojournalists, the policeman started beating them up.
Barishal Press Club President Manvendra Botbal and General Secretary SM Zakir Hossain condemned the incident and demanded punishment of the accused policeman.
Barishal Journalists' Union, National Daily Bureau Chief Association Barishal, Barishal Television Media Association, Barishal Electronics Media Journalists Association and Barishal Photojournalists Unity Council have also protested against the incident.
Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mosharraf Hossain lamented the incident and said he did not instruct police to beat the journalist.
Barishal Deputy Commissioner SM Ajiar Rahman said the administration will do everything to ensure the protection of journalists. He promised to take proper action against anyone responsible.
Barishal Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Shahabuddin Khan said police have been directed to behave well with everyone. "Misbehaving with anyone is not desirable," he said, adding that he had heard about the incident.
He said they would identify the accused policeman and punish him.
Six patients with symptoms of coronavirus were admitted to SBMC since last night. Doctors said the hospital lacks any equipment to test coronavirus.
Coronavirus, which was first reported in China in December last year, is affecting 199 countries and territories around the world and two international conveyances.
It has infected 663,741 people globally and killed 30,880 of them so far -- a mortality rate of 18 percent, according to Worldometer. But 142,183 of the patients have recovered while 490,678 are undergoing treatment. Of them, 25,207 patients are in critical condition.
Bangladesh has so far confirmed 48 COVID-19 cases and five deaths. The country has tested 1,068 samples till date.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Sushanto Kumar Mahato of Tanor upazila in Rajshahi assured to construct a house for a old man of the upazila who collects paper .
The old man Ataul Rahman, 60, is the son of late Jodu Mia of Kuthiparai of Tanor municipal area.
The UNO called the old man at his office on Saturday afternoon and gave him 2 bundles of CI sheet, cash Tk 6,000, lungi, ‘panjabi’, cap (‘tupi’), 20 KGs of rice, potato, pulses, 1 carton of biscuit and various dry food including cake. Besides, the UNO also assured to build a house for him.
UNO Sushanto Kumar Mahato said that on Friday afternoon Rajshai Deputy Commissioner Hamidul Haque came to Tanor Gollapara Bazar to see the Corona situation. At this time, the DC talked to the old man while he was collecting paper on the road.
He told the old man to go home after procuring rice and pulses with the financial assistance provided to him. He also urged the local administration to enquire about the wellbeing of the old man and provide him assistance.
Locals informed that the old man used to earn livelihood by collecting paper during weekly bazaar (hat) on every Fridays and Tuesdays at Gollapara Bazar. He even some time resort to begging.
On Saturday morning also the Deputy Commissioner enquired about the wellbeing of the old man.
“A house will be constructed for him on government land after the country’s situation become normal”, said the UNO.
The youth who died at the isolation unit of Khagrachhari Sadar Hospital last Wednesday night tested negative for COVID-19.
Dr Purna Jibon Chakma, resident medical officer at the hospital, said the 30-year-old youth was admitted to the hospital with high fever and respiratory problem.
He died while being treated at the isolation unit on Wednesday night. The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) tested his samples and found them to be negative on Saturday, he added.
Later, five people, who were maintaining home-quarantine as they came in contact with the deceased were released.
Currently, 60 people are under quarantine in the district, according to the civil surgeon’s office.