Despite Covid concern, Bangladesh continues trade with India

Over 2000 Indian trucks are crossing over to Bangladesh through land borders daily despite the growing concern among Bangladesh health experts about the highly transmissible infectious Indian variant of COVID-19

May 11, 2021
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India-Bangladesh flags (File)

Over 2000 Indian trucks are crossing over to Bangladesh through land borders daily despite the growing concern among Bangladesh health experts about the highly transmissible infectious Indian variant of COVID-19. Bangladesh had closed land borders with India on 26 April however, decided to exempts goods-carrying trucks. 

Recently, six people were found to be infected with the Indian variant, and all of them have had a history of recent travel to India. 

“Goods transportation is necessary. We cannot stop it, but we can do it in a more secure way by isolating the drivers and helpers at the land ports,” Dr. Mohammad Shahidullah, the president of Bangladesh’s National Technical Advisory Committee, was quoted as saying by Dhaka Tribune. 

There is a need to isolate drivers and helpers at land ports else, he warned, the virus may spread in the country. 

Other experts suggested import and export of only essential items to reduce the risk factor. 

A top-level official in Bangladesh’s shipping ministry told Dhaka Tribune that the government is unlikely to stop trade with India anytime soon. 

Currently, the country is prioritizing the imports of rice, essential goods, raw materials for industries from India. While it is exporting masks, electronic goods, and garments to India. 

According to the Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh, Bangladesh exported a total of $1.1 billion worth of goods to India in 2019-20. At the same time, goods worth $5.8 billion were imported from the country’s next-door neighbor. 

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