• Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

ULAB survey: Identifying crucial sectors essential for reopening

  • Published at 07:53 pm July 2nd, 2020

The survey stated that after Bangladesh lifted the countrywide shutdown, the number of daily new infections were increasing rapidly and continues to increase

A study suggested identifying critically important sectors for reopening the country’s economy by assessing the high/low risks of the spread of Covid-19 infection in those sectors. 

The survey, titled “Reopening the Bangladesh Economy: Search for a Framework”, was conducted by the Center for Enterprise and Society (CES), an initiative of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB).

The survey was conducted on 100 experts comprising of entrepreneurs, senior leaders, and analysts.

The survey stated that after Bangladesh lifted the countrywide shutdown, the number of daily new infections were increasing rapidly and continues to increase. 

In this situation, certain industries reopened their operations without careful consideration or proper framework on how to prevent Covid-19 transmission in their workplaces, which indicated a clear lack of long-term and multi-phased reopening plans.

Different sectors were identified as critically important to the economy of Bangladesh, as well as those which carried high risks of Covid-19 transmission.

According to the survey, export-oriented sectors, such as readymade garment (RMG), leather, jute, shrimp, etc, as well as banking and public transportation sectors - were identified as important for the country's economy. 

But the survey also pointed to those sectors as being the most Covid-19 transmission-prone industries, terming them "Alert Sectors."

Sectors such as pharmaceuticals and services were considered less risky, or "Allow Sectors"

Online Learning and e-commerce sectors posed little threat of transmission, and are called "Advance Sectors."

Despite the industries reopening, the owners must remain vigilant to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection in their workplaces, while failure to do so may expedite the second wave of the novel coronavirus cases, the survey observed.

The report also suggested that those in the Allow and Advance sectors could be incentivized and encouraged to expand their operations for a rapid turnaround of the economy.

Sectors which rely on physical contacts, such as restaurants and shopping malls, were labelled "Avoid Sectors".

Their cost-benefit ratio is high and they should be low on the government’s list of priority sectors to reopen.

The survey suggested that Bangladesh’s reopening plan did not need to be perfect but needed to be versatile and prepared for contingencies, which address various pre-identified concerns.   

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