Noman Mosharef : Traders are selling Covid-19 safety gear including face masks and other items at a makeshift market under Babubazar Bridge in Old Dhaka in unhygienic condition amid the second wave of coronavirus pandemic striking the country. Meanwhile, the government has taken measures to protect the second wave of the deadly Coronavirus by operating mobile court to gear up the use of masks. The government has also decided to implement a "No Mask, No Service" policy in all offices to curb further spread of Covid-19. Under the policy, the government and private offices will not serve anyone who is not wearing a mask. Private offices will also come under inspection to make sure that the policy is being pursued. But the matter of concern is that the Babu Bazar's mask are unauthorized and of poor quality which are flooding the informal street shops in the capital and all over the country raising fear that it is not healthy and protective when the second wave is getting worse in the country. Some traders are importing poor quality of masks, and
manufacturing unauthorised and unhygienic sanitisers as the demands have skyrocketed over the last few days. Public health experts expressed fear that fake and unauthorized health safety gear might deepen the health crises as the authorities were not monitoring and regulating their sale properly. Ruhul Amin, Director of Directorate General of Drug Administration, told New Nation that they so far monitored and regulated PPE and sanitiser sales at different drug markets and could not focus on street sales. He said that the police are supposed to carry out drives against these unauthorised trading and marketing of such spurious hygiene materials. Hundreds of people buy these products from the street daily and many traders from different areas also visit Babu Bazar area to procure these poor quality products. Public health expert and former director of DGHS Be-Nazir Ahmed said that these unhygienic and unsafe protective gears and sanitisers pose threat to public health. 'There must be strict regulations and monitoring on the sale of protective gears and sanitisers and on factories. People who are manufacturing these fake products must be punished,' he said. When approached, Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection Director Shameem Al Mamun said that monitoring and regulating sales of these products on the streets is outside their jurisdiction. They were carrying out drives at pharmacies and medicine markets while it was the police who were supposed to conduct drives on street vendors selling such products, he pointed out.
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