Teesta Barrage turns into recreation spot amid virus risk

Lalmonirhat, Aug 04 – Ignoring the risk of coronavirus transmission, a huge number of people are thronging the Teesta Barrage project area in Hatibandha Upazila of Lalmonirhat, the country’s largest irrigation project to enjoy Eid holiday.
As the scenic project area has become a destination for nature lovers, people from the district and outside flocked there during the holidays without a care in the world.
During a visit to the spot on Sunday afternoon, a day after Eid, speedboats and boats were seen running from one side of the Teesta to the other at high speed as people have fun on the banks.
Vehicles that brought the people to the barrage were lined up on the bank adorned with colourful banners and papers. People were playing songs on loudspeakers and dancing on the vehicles.
Makeshift markets were set up in the area selling toys, flutes, balloons, carts and food.
Although health experts suggest maintaining a minimum distance from each other to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the health guidelines were grossly flouted.
Afzal Hossain, who came from Dinajpur with his family, said they enjoyed their time there.
Sohel, a local schoolteacher, said that he could not go out due to coronavirus restrictions. He came to visit the spot next to the house during the Eid holiday.
Although the risk of coronavirus is there, many people like him are coming here to enjoy the natural beauty, said Sohel.
Abida Sultana, superintendent of Lalmonirhat police, said that a recreation centre has been set up at Teesta Barrage project area to entertain people.
Adequate measures also have been taken for the safety of the visitors, she said.
Coronavirus situation in Bangladesh
The death tally from coronavirus in Bangladesh reached 3,184 on Monday as 30 more patients died of the virus in the last 24 hours, the health authorities announced at a regular online briefing.
But the number of tests came down drastically with only 4,249 samples being tested during this period. But more than one in four tests turned out to be positive – 1,356 in total.
The daily infection rate reached an unprecedented 31.9 percent which is highest in the last two months.
Currently, Bangladesh’s officially confirmed cases stands at 2,42,102.
Prof Dr Nasima Sultana of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), who has been delivering the numbers at an online briefing, said 1,066 patients have made full recovery from Covid-19, raising the total recoveries to 1,37,905.
Nearly 57 percent have recovered from the disease in Bangladesh, she said. – UNB