Colourful hand fans at a Baishakhi in Brojmohan School, Barisal
Colourful hand fans at a Baishakhi in Brojmohan School, BarisalFile photo

The government has asked everyone not to hold any mass gatherings and outdoor celebrations during Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla calendar, for the second time in a row to curb the spread of Covid-19, reports UNB.

The cultural affairs ministry called on the people to welcome the Bengali New Year 1428 on 14 April with online festivities.

Pahela Baishakh celebrations form an integral part of Bengali culture since they began over six centuries back.

A notification issued by the ministry on Wednesday said, “In line with the instructions issued by the cabinet division, following the current Covid-19 situation, it is requested that events be organised on online platforms if possible. Mass gatherings should be avoided at any cost.”

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All programmes had also been cancelled last year to avoid mass gatherings to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Bangladesh is now seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases and deaths for the last few weeks.

The country saw the highest number of daily infections with 7,626 new cases reported until early Wednesday since the outbreak began in March last year.

Also, the country recorded 63 more deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.

Although the government enforced a 7-day lockdown from 5 April restricting people’s movement, shutting shops, markets and suspending operations of public transport, people took it lightly and are moving around freely defying the restriction, posing risks of more transmission.

Also, the movement of city buses resumed on 7 April, just two days after the enforcement of the lockdown, as the government has allowed public transport services in city corporation areas.

Hospitals are struggling to provide treatment to the increasing number of coronavirus patients with their limited resources.

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