Don’t panic, follow pandemic restrictions, says Hamid

President Md Abdul Hamid has wished Bangladeshi residents a joyous Eid, telling them not to panic about the coronavirus, but maintain health restrictions and follow guidelines in order to bring the pandemic under control.

“Over 3 million people have lost their lives to the coronavirus across the world,” Hamid said in a video statement on Friday morning.

“Millions more are living in inhumane conditions after losing their jobs. It isn’t possible to solve this situation with an indefinite lockdown. We have to continue our regular lives and livelihoods and move forward after overcoming this pandemic situation.”

“We must work to control the virus without panicking. And this requires every citizen of the country to follow the guidelines fully; meaning wearing a mask, washing hands regularly and maintaining social distancing. One this wonderful Eid day I call upon everyone to follow these health restrictions.”

President Hamid said his Eid prayers at the Bangabhaban Audience Chamber alongside members of his family and ‘essential’ officials.

Usually, the president took part in the morning prayer service at the National Eidgah premises. Then he would return to the Bangabhaban for an Eid event alongside his family and top officials. But, like last year, the regular plans have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

“Eid is the largest and most joyous festival for Muslims. The joy of Eid touches everyone – the rich and poor, all people regardless of race, creed and language,” Hamid said.

“But this year Eid comes at a time when the entire world has been overturned by the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the coronavirus, the people of Bangladesh are facing great challenges to their lives and livelihoods. Our first priority is to save lives, but the need to maintain peoples’ livelihoods is also undeniable.”

The president expressed his hope that Bangladesh’s COVID-19 vaccine crisis would be resolved soon.

“The government is doing its utmost to overcome the corona situation. In addition to providing medical care, it has also taken steps to support people whose lives have been put at risk. It has also taken several initiatives to ensure that economic activity continues uninterrupted.”

“We have begun administering vaccinations. Though there have been temporary setbacks to the vaccination campaign due to the corona catastrophe across the world, the government is giving its highest priority to acquiring vaccines from other countries.”

President Hamid called on the wealthy people to stand by the poor in these trying times.

“Eid ul-Fitr teaches us self-discipline and purification. There are many helpless and destitute people around us. Everyone should do as much as possible to ensure that they too are not deprived of the joy of Eid.”

“I hope that alongside the government, various private organisations, social and cultural organisations and wealthy individuals will come forward to support the poor and the helpless. Let Eid bring about pure joy for all.”