Independence Day ceremonies cancelled considering public health

The government today scrapped the Independence Day ceremonies in view of the coronavirus outbreak across the world, including Bangladesh, and considering public health.

The decision was taken after a meeting between President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Bangabhaban, a presidential palace spokesman said.

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“The meeting decided to cancel all the major Independence Day functions due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak,” President’s press secretary Joynal Abedin told BSS.

He said placing of wreaths at the National Memorial on March 26 as part of the state programmes, civic reception at Bangabhaban and distribution of Independence Day medals were the ceremonies which would not be held this year considering the public health.

The press secretary said the novel coronavirus situation and the country’s preparedness in combating the pandemic dominated the head of the state’s hour-long meeting with the premier in the afternoon.

“Both of them urged the countrymen to be cautious instead of being panicked,” Abedin said.

During the meeting, they also enquired each other about their health.

Earlier, the President welcomed the head of the government at Bangabhaban with a bouquet at about 5:05 pm.

The prime minister also presented a bouquet to the head of the state.

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