Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers rush back to major cities on Saturday after trains and buses say the government could reopen export factories despite the deadly coronavirus wave. Siege the station.
The economy was so badly hit by the pandemic that the government excluded factories supplying top brands in Europe and North America from national blockade orders.
Authorities ordered the closure of factories, offices, transportation and stores from July 23 to August 5, as daily coronavirus infections and deaths reached record levels.
Officially, Bangladesh has reported 1.2 million cases and more than 20,000 deaths. According to experts, the actual numbers are at least four times higher.
But the government said the country’s 4,500 garment factories, which employ more than 4 million people, could reopen on Sunday and rush back to the industrial city.
Influential garment factory owners warned that if foreign brand orders were not completed on time, they would have “catastrophic” consequences.
Hundreds of thousands of people who were blocked back in the village to celebrate the Eid al-Adha Muslim Festival headed to Dhaka by available transportation. Some were just walking in the monsoon rain.
At the Simria Ferry Station, 70 km (45 miles) south of Dhaka, tens of thousands of workers waited hours by boat to reach the capital.
A garment factory worker, Mohammad Masum, 25, said he left the village before dawn, walked more than 30 kilometers (20 miles), and arrived at the ferry port by rickshaw.
“Police stopped us at many checkpoints and the ferry was full,” he said.
Another worker, Jubayer Ahmad, told AFP, “When the blockage was imposed, I was in a hurry to get home, but now I’m having a hard time getting back to work.”
Bangladesh is the world’s second largest garment exporter after China, and the industry is the economic foundation of a country of 169 million people.
Mohammad Hatem, vice chairman of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said export orders worth up to $ 3 billion would be at risk if the factory remained closed.
“The brand would have diverted orders to other countries,” Hatem told AFP.
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Bangladeshi rush back to work when the factory reopens despite the surge in coronavirus
Source link Bangladeshi rush back to work when the factory reopens despite the surge in coronavirus