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Coronavirus: Overseas returnees roaming around violating govt directive, hundreds fined

  • Published at 09:48 pm March 19th, 2020

At least six wedding ceremonies were stopped and 15 vendors were fined

Although the government has repeatedly been instructing people returning to Bangladesh from abroad to be in home quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, many of them have been seen walking around freely, getting married and pursuing different businesses in their localities.

At least hundreds of expatriates– who were violating the government directives– were clamped with fines of over a million taka by countless mobile courts formed across the country.

Dipak Barman and Md Karim, who came back from Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, respectively, just a week ago, went to the Munshiganj Passport office to have their passports renewed.

Upon receiving information from the office, they later were fined by a mobile court for violating government instructions on maintaining a 14-day mandatory home quarantine on arrival from abroad.

 Besides them, a Munshiganj mobile court fined three expatriates a total of  Tk35,000 for violating the law.

Meanwhile, Raghunath Barman, father of an expatriate, was sentenced to a month in jail for sending his son to Narayanganj for some business-related work, confirmed UNO Faruk Ahmed of Sadar upazila.

In Moulvibazar, mobile courts shut down at least four wedding ceremonies and fined the organizers Tk1.20 lakh yesterday.

The court sent the expatriate grooms to quarantine and also fined the brides’ families and the community centre owners TK50,000 each.

In Sreemangal, two cinema halls were fined as they were violating the government’s directives.

In Comilla, 12 rice vendors were fined Tk3.85 lakh as they were unnecessarily storing the product and trying to sell it at high prices, said UNO AKM Saiful Alam.

In Brahmanbaria, three expatriates returning from Oman, Singapore and Bahrain were fined Tk 80,000 for violating the law.

Emphasising the importance of quarantine, UNO Pankaj Badua said: "A huge number of expatriates came back to the district from March 1 to March 17. Despite our directives and help, some of them are violating the law and infecting others, putting their lives at risk."

In Jhenaidah, the Assistant Commissioner (land) said the authorities were monitoring the market closely, and despite their constant watch, vendors were trying to sell their products at high prices and also spreading rumours.

"Three of the vendors were fined Tk26,000 for their unlawful behaviour," he added.

Mobile courts have fined countless expatriates and families in Barguna, Chandpur, Gopalganj, Chapainawabganj, Tangail Thakurgaon, Bandarban and Jamalpur districts as well as a measure to have the infected stay in quarantine and to prevent the others from being infected, according to our respective correspondents.