June 07, 2020


Bangladesh reopens amidst restrictions and health rules

Following more than two months of general holidays, imposed in the wake of the Covid 19, public and private offices in Bangladesh reopened on Sunday maintaining physical distancing and other health guidelines to avoid the spread of the virus. The authorities issued 15 directives restricting various public activities from May 31 to June 15 as part of measures against COVID-19 when the offices and services would run cautiously. However, all educational institutions across the country might remain closed till September if the coronavirus situation does not improve.

Bangladesh to introduce ICUs at all district hospitals

In order to bolster the healthcare sector’s capacity to tackle the Covid-19, the government will set up isolation and critical care units in district hospitals all over the country. A 20-bed Isolation Unit (IU) and a five-bed Critical Care Unit (CCU) will be set up in every district hospital for treating Covid-19 patients. Besides, 17 of the 29 public medical colleges in the country will have a 50-bed IU and a 10-bed CCU each for coronavirus patients. Additionally, the government has launched a mobile application for keeping track of Covid-19 patients and managing data on health services.

Bangladesh to divide Covid-19-hit areas in colour-coded zones

The government is planning to divide areas around the country that are affected by the Covid-19 into three zones: red, yellow and green, based on the severity of the pandemic, in order to prevent the disease from spreading further. Severe restrictions are likely to be put in place for the areas, beset by the pandemic, falling under “red zone”. The "green zone" will be out of restrictions and the areas that have seen a low number of COVID-19 cases will be put in the "yellow zone" where movement of people, businesses and transport services will be allowed on "a limited scale".

HPM announces $235.5 million subsidies on interests

HPM Sheikh Hasina announced a new stimulus package to waive around $235.5 million bank interest of the people affected badly by the nationwide shutdown enforced to contain the COVID-19 andemic. Under the package, the announced amount will be deducted from the total interests on loans which remain unpaid from the last two months. A total of 13.8 million borrowers stand to benefit from this subsidy scheme.

IMF to lend Bangladesh $732 million for urgent needs

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a disbursement of about $732 million to Bangladesh for addressing the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic. The Executive Board of the IMF approved $244 million under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and about $488 million under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to the country on May 29 in a response to the 60th request for emergency financial assistance to help its member countries. The allocation will help finance the health, social protection and macroeconomic stabilization measures, meet the urgent balance-of-payments and fiscal needs arising from the Covid-19 outbreak.

Remittances spur Bangladesh forex reserves to record $34.23 billion

Bangladesh Bank’s foreign currency reserves have crossed the record $34 billion mark for the first time thanks to surging remittance despite the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging global economies. Reserves hit the previous high of $33.68 billion on Sept 5, 2017. It has since hovered above $31.5 billion and reached $33.46 billion last Tuesday. The expatriate Bangladeshis remitted as much as $135 million on the first two days of June after sending more than $1.5 billion in May. The government has been giving 2% direct cash incentive to expatriates on their remittances from this fiscal year.

Inflation drops to 5.35% in May despite corona crisis

Despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the country’s overall inflation on point-to-point basis dropped to 5.35% last month from 5.96% in April thanks to falling prices of both food and non-food items. Steps taken, in pursuance of a directive given by HPM Sheikh Hasina, to keep the supply chain steady have been attributed to this success. Besides, production of most agricultural products including rice and vegetables has been as per targets set. Meanwhile, prices of rice, pulses, egg, vegetables, spice items like onion, ginger and garlic declined in May in comparison with the price levels from a month back.

UN issues stamps marking UN Peacekeepers Day and Mujib 100

In observance of the 2020 International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers and the the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, UN Postal Administration, jointly with the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York, issued a set of commemorative stamps on the themes of UN peacekeepers and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. On the occasion, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres phoned HPM Sheikh Hasina and exchanged greetings with her.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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