Covid-19: Families receive rice, cash aid in Rajshahi

by Akeem Alao
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Over 25.15 lakh jobless and other hard hit families comprising around 1.13 crore populations have, so far, been given rice and cash assistance.

The initiative was to help overcome the hardships triggered by the novel Covid-19 pandemic in Rajshahi division.

As part of its instant humanitarian support to cope with the troubled situation, the government disbursed 18,965 tonnes of rice and around Taka 11.52 crore in cash among the affected families in the division.

Rajshahi Divisional Commissioner Humayun Kabir Khandaker said each of 16,45,427 families received 10 kilograms of rice while another 8,70,416 families got Taka 1,000 in cash for baby food and other emergency expenses each amid the crisis in all eight districts in the division till 8am today.

A total of 2,817 tonnes of rice and over Taka 1.82 crore in cash are in the stock at present for distribution.

Meanwhile, 2,181.24 tonnes of rice and 12,089.54 tonnes of flour have been distributed at Taka 10 and Taka 18 per kilogram respectively among the families in need under the government’s open market sale (OMS) programme in the division till Sunday last, said Raihanul Kabir, regional controller of food.

Besides, 1,21,544.98 tonnes of rice was distributed among 7,73,026 enlisted poor and extreme poor households under the government’s “Food Friendly Programme” till the same day.

Another 4,500 tonnes of rice is also being distributed among the needy families under the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) programme, Raihanul Kabir said, adding that each of 1.5 lakh beneficiary families is getting 30 kilograms of rice every month free of cost continuously.

Rajshahi City Corporation has, so far, disbursed 376 tonnes of rice, five tonnes of flour, 64 tonnes of pulse, 67 tonnes of potato, 2,000 packets of baby food, 350 tonnes of seasonal vegetables and 3,950 packets of cooked foods benefiting around 1.38 lakh jobless and poor families in the city.

Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton said distribution of foodstuffs among 7,400 people as the gift of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before the Eid-ul-Fitr was completed yesterday.

On the other hand, 69,191 personal protective equipment (PPE) were distributed among the frontline healthcare workforces to handle the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting them from the virus infection. There are 46,194 more PPE in stock for distribution.

A total of 816 doctors and 1,547 nurses are working in 172 public and private hospitals in the division. Around 1,914 beds, out of the total 4,899, have already been prepared for treatment of the possible COVID-19 infected patients.

There are arrangements of 462 beds in isolation units here and 19 ambulances for emergency transportation and treatment of the infected patients.

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