January 21, 2021, 11:22 pm

Siyam Hoque

2020-04-02 13:54:15 BdST

Coronavirus: Bangladeshi Canadian suggests turning to volunteers

Bangladeshi expatriates living in Canada are worried about the coronavirus situation both in Canada and Bangladesh as it continues to ravage the entire world, says an expatriate.
He says now volunteers need to come forward and extend their helping hands as there are many ways to get involved in helping the poor suffering for lack of job both in Dhaka city and elsewhere in the country due to the coronavirus fallout.     
Talking to UNB over phone, Emamul Haque, a former UN official in Bangladesh and executive director of PACE (Progressive Action for Community Empowerment), Canada, a Toronto-based non-profit organisation, said, “We all need to keep eyes on those vulnerable, lonely and jobless. We’re doing that here in Canada.”
Emamul said Bangladeshi expatriates living in Canada have taken some good initiatives. “Especially, Bangladeshi-origin youths have come up in this situation voluntarily. They’re delivering food items to single mothers who’re in home-quarantine with their children and others living in dire need at this crisis moment.”
Asked whether Bangladeshi youths have learnt this in Canada, he said taking voluntary initiatives is common in Canada. “It’s extraordinary to help others when everyone is busy with his or her own job.”
According to available information, the number of Bangladeshi Canadians is around 100,000 and most of them are concentrated in Greater Toronto and Montreal areas.
Emamul, however, expressed displeasure over the news that red flags were being hoisted in front of the houses of those who have returned to Bangladesh recently from abroad.
He said it might be devastating if the coronavirus outbreak gets worse. “Mob might vandalise the houses identified with red flags,” he said, expressing the hope that the coronavirus situation will not deteriorate in Bangladesh.
Emamul said Bangladesh should have taken steps much earlier to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
As soon as the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took precautionary measures so that Chinese nationals living in Canada do not fall victims, he said.
Pointing at Trudeau’s regular appearance before the nation in an effort to tackle the situation and steps taken by his government, Emamul said top leaders in Bangladesh could also follow suit to raise hope among the people of the country. “When a top leader speaks to the nation every day, it motivates people, raises awareness and helps them to be more serious.”
Asked about the tolerance the local Canadians are demonstrating during the coronavirus pandemic, he said tolerance is very important in a multicultural society.
Coronavirus, first reported in China in December last year, is affecting 202 countries and territories around the world and two international conveyances.
Meanwhile, the global death toll from the coronavirus or COVID-19 has reached 47,241 as of Thursday.
It has so far infected 935,840 people around the world, according to worldometer.
Bangladesh has so far reported six deaths from the coronavirus. Besides, 24 patients are currently under treatment in the country while 26 others have already made recovery.
Meanwhile, 9,731 people have so far tested positive for coronavirus in Canada while the country confirmed deaths of 129 people.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife was tested positive for coronavirus on March 12 but recovered from the disease on March 29.

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