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‘Like a big jail’: Hasina misses joining events in person amid pandemic

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-07-18 20:30:02 BdST

Photo: PID

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has spoken about the sadness she feels about her not being able to join programmes in person due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She has been joining the events via video conferencing since the outbreak in Bangladesh began in March last year.

On Sunday, she took part in an event marking the signing of the Annual Performance Agreement 2020-21 and the distribution of awards among officials virtually from the Ganabhaban.

“In a sense, I'm leading a captive life due to the coronavirus. I had been in a small jail earlier. Now it's a big jail. Because I haven’t been able to leave this Ganabhaban,” she said.

“Yes, it’s in fact a bigger jail. I've some liberty to go downstairs and take a walk on the lawn," continued Hasina, "but I'd been held captive in a single room with no scope to move out. It was closed with a collapsible gate. Now there is an electronic door.”

She had been in a special jail for 11 months following her arrest in 2007 during the emergency rule.    

“I'm quite sad that I have been unable to join you. I'd have been happy to distribute the awards or exchange the agreement in person. It could not be possible because of the coronavirus pandemic,” she told the officials.

The prime minister asked them to raise public awareness about the need to wear a mask, practice physical distancing and wash hands to reduce the risk of infection.

“I know that our people love to travel to their home villages whenever they can, and they don't like wearing mask. But please try to make them understand so that they wear a mask and stay vigilant.”