Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tens of thousands defy Bangladesh lockdown to attend Islamic preacher’s funeral

Tens of thousands have defied a lockdown in Bangladesh to attend the funeral of a top Islamic preacher as the country’s outbreak begins to accelerate.

An estimated 100,000 people flooded the streets of Sarail, in the east of the country, and stood side by side in large crowds to pay their final respects to Jubayer Ahmad Ansari. 

His family had agreed with police that only 50 people would attend because of the risk of spreading the infection.

Bangladesh has recorded a rise in cases of more than 200 for the past five days, bringing its total to 2,144 so far. There have been 84 deaths due to the disease in the country. 

Experts have warned that the actual number of infections and deaths is likely to be far higher due to a lack of testing. Only 21,307 tests have been conducted since a nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 26. 

An estimated 100,000 people flooded the streets in Sarail, east Bangladesh, to pay their final respects to 55-year-old preacher Jubayer Ahmad Ansari

An estimated 100,000 people flooded the streets in Sarail, east Bangladesh, to pay their final respects to 55-year-old preacher Jubayer Ahmad Ansari

An estimated 100,000 people flooded the streets in Sarail, east Bangladesh, to pay their final respects to 55-year-old preacher Jubayer Ahmad Ansari

It came as people were also seen queuing to buy food without observing social distancing rules in the country's capital Dhaka

It came as people were also seen queuing to buy food without observing social distancing rules in the country's capital Dhaka

It came as people were also seen queuing to buy food without observing social distancing rules in the country’s capital Dhaka

Authorities imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 26 to halt the spread of coronavirus. Pictured above are idling rickshaws in Dhaka today

Authorities imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 26 to halt the spread of coronavirus. Pictured above are idling rickshaws in Dhaka today

Authorities imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 26 to halt the spread of coronavirus. Pictured above are idling rickshaws in Dhaka today

Police chief Shahadat Hossain said officers were helpless to stop the crowds who came to honour the 55-year-old popular preacher and seminary head, who died on Friday. ‘People came in waves,’ he told AFP.

Organisers said some 100,000 attended the funeral. Aide to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Shah Ali Farhad, also said more than 100,000 were present.

It came as people were seen standing side by side as they queued to buy food in the capital Dhaka, in a second apparent flouting of social distancing rules.

Bangladesh imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 26 as coronavirus spread across the country of 168 million people. The first death from the disease was recorded on March 18. 

Steets have been cleared as people are advised to stay inside. (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Steets have been cleared as people are advised to stay inside. (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Steets have been cleared as people are advised to stay inside. (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

A total of 2,144 cases have been recorded so far but experts warn this number may be higher

A total of 2,144 cases have been recorded so far but experts warn this number may be higher

A total of 2,144 cases have been recorded so far but experts warn this number may be higher

Only 21,307 tests for the disease have been carried out in the country so far. Pictured above is a security guard at a garment factory in the Tejgaon area in Dhaka

Only 21,307 tests for the disease have been carried out in the country so far. Pictured above is a security guard at a garment factory in the Tejgaon area in Dhaka

Only 21,307 tests for the disease have been carried out in the country so far. Pictured above is a security guard at a garment factory in the Tejgaon area in Dhaka

A man sells disinfectant on a street corner in the capital Dhaka today

A man sells disinfectant on a street corner in the capital Dhaka today

A man sells disinfectant on a street corner in the capital Dhaka today

The country brought in new rules recently banning more than five people from taking part in prayers in the country’s 300,000 mosques. 

The prime minister has called on Bangladeshis to pray at home when the Ramadan festival starts this month. But a group of influential clerics has called on Muslims to turn out in their masses for daily prayers.

Last month at least 25,000 people attended a muslim prayer meeting in a field in the southern city of Raipur to chant ‘healing verses’ to rid the country of the deadly virus.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *