Bangladesh Army Contributions in COVID-19

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Feature Desk

Bangladesh Government has decided to deploy Army wef 24 Mar 2020 in all divisions and district towns in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The deployment is termed as Operation Covid Shield. Till today Army is working wholeheartedly and taking many praiseworthy preventive steps to fight against COVID-19. In this regard, Bangladesh Armed Forces is given with following responsibilities by the Government:

  • Deploy “In Aid to Civil Administration” to assist local district administration in their effort to fight COVID -19.
  • Assist civil administration to ensure social distancing, home-quarantine and institutional quarantine measures of overseas returnees.
  • Assist civil administration to ensure lockdown of any specific area to avoid spread of COVID-19.
  • Establish Quarantine Camps (QC) in Dhaka and other cities of the country as necessary.
Photo-1: Mass awareness activity at Chattogram by Bangladesh Army

From day one army is carrying out its commendable role to fight against Covid 19. Besides, from its own initiatives Army has started humanitarian assistance by providing limited scale of food as relief and in places free medical campaigns.

Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed said that his troops would do “everything possible” under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic as their presence on the streets appeared to have “highly energized” the common people and the civil administration.

General Aziz Ahmed  also said that the troops’ deployment seemed to have mentally relieved the people and the officials amid fears about the course of the pandemic in the coming days.

To be mentioned, an officer of Bangladesh army named Captain Imam Mahdi feels like he is on the front line of a war. He is the team leader of a group of army personnel fighting not against any country, but against the deadly coronavirus infection that is threatening to leave his country in ruins. He is grimly determined to win the war against Covid-19 by flattening the curve. As per epidemiology, the idea is to slow a virus’ spread so that fewer people need to seek treatment at any given time is known as “flattening the curve”. His team is working to achieve that goal.

In brief Bangladesh Army is performing following activities:

  • Everyday almost 600 patrols are conducted in 62 districts with around 7000 (+) troops and 1100 vehicles to ensure social distancing and home-quarantine measures.
  • Bangladesh Army Aviation has innovated “Isolation Pod” to carry corona patients and modified two MI 171 helicopters into Air Ambulance for air transportation of Corona Patients.
  • Various teams and patrols of Army are conducting disinfecting works of different community facilities, raising mass awareness among people and distributing relief in various districts of the country. They have also launched many medical campaigns in different places across the country to provide treatment to patients of various diseases.
  • Established four institutional Quarantine Centres (Askona Hajj Camp, BRAC Learning Centre, Dia Bari RAJUK Project and Bangladesh Public Administration Training Center, Savar) with approximately 3000 bed capacity and ensured quarantine of suspected overseas passengers arriving at Hazrat Shahajalal International Airport. Bangladesh Army will soon administer a 1500 bed isolation centre at Mohakhali DNCC market.
  • Also established a Quarantine Center in Gazir Madrasa, Jeshore in coordination with Jashore District Administration for the returnees from India through Benapole Land Port.
  • As a goodwill gesture dispatched a team of medical personnel and medical aid for the people of Kuwait on 21 April 2020.
  • Army has organized ‘Ak Miniter Bazar’ (One minute market) at number of places of the country to allow easy and healthy access to daily commodities for the population.
  • Army patrols distributed humanitarian aid to distressed people in various places of the country.

Members of Bangladesh Army have also directed the locals to maintain a one-way entry and exit to the kitchen markets all over the Country. Army has created painted box in the markets and shops for ensuring social distancing during purchasing the daily commodities.

On the occasion of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh Army has organized a free medical campaign to provide health services to pregnant mothers at various parts of Bangladesh. The medical camp conducts general health check-up for pregnant women from morning till day maintaining social distance and following hygienic rules. The medical team also carried out various tests in the temporary lab in order to know the health condition of the pregnant mothers.

Photo-2: Specialist physicians of Bangladesh Army conducted a free medical camp for pregnant women

Bangladesh Army will continue operation Covid Shield with utmost dedicated effort till the government desires. The combined efforts of Government agencies and Armed forces could reduce the effect of covid 19 to a tolerable level. InshaAllah the pandemic will be over and the normalcy will be back soon.

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