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BNP activists' overcrowding at BSMMUH raises corona concern

March 26, 2020 00:00:00

Defying Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's instruction, BNP leaders and activists overcrowded the gate of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital (BSMMUH) to receive their party chief Khaleda Zia who walked out of its prison cell on an execute order, reports UNB.

Khaleda's family members, lawyers and some senior BNP leaders, including its secretary general Fakhrul, had been there.

Fakhrul and some other leaders repeatedly urged the party leaders and activists with a loudspeaker to move away from the BSMMUH premises, but their calls went unheeded.

Law enforcers also failed to convince the BNP activists to leave the area considering Khaleda's safety, said an official.

Though most of the BNP leaders and followers were seen wearing masks and other personal protective equipment, some others had no safety equipment, causing a matter of worry as experts suggested avoiding such gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Such a gathering posed a serious health risks to the patients at the country's premier hospital and the journalists present there since coronavirus has already spread in the country.

Journalists were seen expressing their deep concern over their safety as BNP leaders made it difficult for them to discharge their professional duties by taking position around them.

Even, Khaleda had to wait 10 minutes on the ground floor of Cabin Block of the hospital to get into her vehicle due to the overcrowding.

She, however, left the hospital at around 04:20 pm for her Gulshan residence in her vehicle escorted by the party leaders and activists.

Asked about the gathering, BNP Dhaka South City unit President Habibunnabi Khan Sohel said their party leaders and activists gathered there out of their affection for Khaleda.

"Party leaders and activists thronged in front of the hospital as they could not hold back their emotion to see their party chief after a long time."

He said BNP leaders and activists were aware of the current coronavirus situation, but they took a risk of their lives and health driven by emotion.

"We had tried to convince them to leave the area, but failed. They defied our instructions, but we understand their feelings and love for our leader."

After the government announced to free Khaleda on Tuesday, Fakhrul called upon BNP leaders and activists not to gather at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital and hold back their emotion for the safety of Khaleda and other patients at the hospital amid the spread of coronavirus in the country.

"We call upon our leaders and activists to remain calm and exercise restraint and avoid any gathering. You please play a responsible role in this regard," the BNP leader said.

He also asked the party rank and file not to throng near Khaleda's Gulshan residence as it may cause harm to her.

Khaleda Zia's family recently submitted an application to the government seeking an executive order to have the BNP chief released for her treatment in London.

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