As the COVID-19 outbreak quickly surges worldwide, many countries are adopting non-therapeutic preventive measures, which include travel bans, remote office activities, country lockdown, and most importantly, social distancing. However, these measures face challenges in Bangladesh, a lower- middle-income economy with one of the world’s densest populations. Social distancing is difficult in many areas of the country, and with the minimal resources the country has, it would be extremely challenging to implement the mitigation measures. With those challenges keep in mind from the beginning of the outbreak, DESHA has been working proactively with the collaboration of local authorities to minimize the impact of the pandemic.

As soon as the Govt. called for shut down, all of the ongoing program and projects of DESHA were closed, and the staff members were sent home on leave with full financial facilities, in order to ensure safety and restrict spreading of COVID-19. Also, DESHA has designated a dedicated doctor for its staffs to avail any telemedicine services when they need. All the safety measures like facemask, shield, PPE, gloves, sanitizer etc. already have been provided to them.

From its own source, DESHA has already distributed emergency food packages and household necessary items to 1000 poor and wage-less families in Kushtia district through the District Commissioners Office. Another 1700 packages including daily necessity items and Eid Gifts were distributed just before two Eids respectively. Those packages included Rice, Lentils, Soybean Oil, Red Chili, Salt, Soap, Paracetamol, Vitamin-C tablet, Orsaline and Eid Gifts (Shari and Lungi). DESHA staff members also contributed a one-day salary amount to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to fight against COVID19. Several awareness campaigns have been conducted whereas Face Masks, Sanitizer, Soap etc. were also distributed among mass people.

DESHA also extended its supporting hands to the Bangladesh Police, as they were and still out there to ensure the safety of mass people even in this pandemic situation.

DESHA distributed 1040 pcs of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for the Kushtia Zila Police Forces to be used at the Police Super Office Premises. In response to Covid-19 front fighters, DESHA TARC has prepared and offered accommodation to the doctors and nurses who are involved in testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients in Kushtia district. Total 25 rooms have been allocated for them inclusive of foods and additional services. DESHA responded very quickly to the present crisis and extended supportive hands to serve them as they are the front-line fighter for the people of this nation for the treatment of COVID-19.

DESHA has been doing all of these from its own limited source, and is very much willing to continue this support in future. We hope, with all of our combined efforts, soon we can have a positive outcome and have a COVID-19 free Bangladesh.