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Industrial units not following health guidelines properly

Five workers die from Covid-19, 417 infected until Sunday: IP

Monira Munni | June 22, 2020 00:00:00

Industrial units especially the small and medium-sized ones were not properly following the health safety guidelines, resulting in rising number of coronavirus infections among the workers, sources said.

According to Industrial Police (IP) data, a total of 417 workers from 174 factories in six industrial zones were infected while five of them died from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) until Sunday. The number of infected workers was 251 on June 01.

Out of the 417, some 311 workers were from 99 the textile and readymade garment (RMG) factories registered with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association.

Some 36 workers from 24 non-RMG factories and 70 from 51 factories under Export Processing Zones were also infected, police said.

The state-owned Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), however, said 280 workers were infected with the virus so far.

The DIFE launched special inspection since May 04 across the country to ensure following the health guidelines provided by the health ministry and the health safety-related provisions of the labour law in the factories to ensure workers safety during the pandemic.

Inspectors of the department visited a total of 3,403 industrial units, including RMG, until June 18 since launching the special inspection, DIFE sources said.

When asked, DIFE inspector general Shibnath Roy said their special inspection found that the big factories were abiding by the required health safety compliance to prevent the virus infection.

"But we also found some violation especially in the small and sub-contracting factories. DIFE inspectors are giving the non-compliant units seven days of time to maintain the health safety compliance," he told the FE on Sunday.

Regarding the violation of maintaining social distancing, he said there were also other problems that they have been informed about workers' protests against the factory authorities' move to run factories with 50 per cent workforce.

He, however, said comparing the overall virus infection in the country that crossed 0.1 million people, the number of infected workers is less than one per cent.

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