Coronavirus: Locals protest against Akij Group’s hospital plan in city

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Protests have erupted in Dhaka’s Tejgaon a day after Akij Group, a business conglomerate, announced a plan to construct a specialised hospital amid growing concerns over the lack of logistics to detect and treat coronavirus patients in Bangladesh, reports.

Three people, including security and construction workers, were injured as scores of locals vandalised the site after work began on Saturday.

The disgruntled locals later took to the streets in protest.

Earlier, Akij Group’s Managing Director Sheikh Bashir Uddin said the hospital would be built on the company’s empty plot next to the factory of motorcycle makers TVS in Tejgaon.

The area is made up of a dense slum and building a hospital there would expose its residents to the risk of the coronavirus infection, Rahima Begum, a local resident, said. Accordingly, she demanded that the hospital be constructed elsewhere.

The protesters subsequently cleared the streets after about one and a half hours upon assurances from the local councillor and police that the construction work would stop.


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