After the first confirmation of Coronavirus COVID-19 in Bangladesh, 48 persons have been infected by this deadly virus which includes few doctors also and more than 31000 peoples have died till 29 March. Many doctors and nurses are in quarantine for being COVID-19 suspects. World Health Organization (WHO) is saying doctors are more exposed to this virus and safety gears should be ensured.
Under a joint initiative of Pay It Forward, non-profitable foundation People for People, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the Marks & Spencer, the Arunachal Trust, and the BUET Alumni Association five garment factories Urmi Group, Snowtex, Aman Group, Dekko Group and Smartex Group started producing the personal protective equipment (PPE).
The initiative got approval from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to make the PPE. The initial plans to produce at least five lakh pieces of PPE and initially, 50000 PPE will be distributed to the hospitals free.
According to BGMEA, eight more factories supposed to start production of PPE from this week.
Asif Ashraf, Managing Director, Urmi Group said, “It would not make any profit from making the PPE and it will only take fabric charge as it will have to buy the raw materials.”
Snowtex is making 50000 PPE, of the quantity they will distribute 17,000 for free of cost and they won’t make any profit for this PPE making, SM Khaled, Managing Director of Snowtex confirmed.
The National Board of Revenue has withdrawn all forms of import duties and taxes to encourage quick import of PPEs, raw materials used in hand sanitizers, coronavirus testing kits and reagents.
A country like the USA also ordering for PPE to factories in Bangladesh. Smart Jacket (BD) Ltd, a concern of Smart Group of Industries regularly manufactures surgical jackets for an American buyer.
This pandemic may be showing a new path to the manufacturers of the country.