The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has opened a 50-bed Covid-19 field hospital in Chattogram to provide free medical treatment to garment workers infected with coronavirus.
The BGMEA has been operating the hospital to provide medical services to garment workers free of charge since 2011 and decided to convert the site into a dedicated Covid-19 field hospital as the need for specialised hospitals has grown amid the outbreak.
The facility was inaugurated by commerce minister of Bangladesh Tipu Munshi last week via video conference. Munshi said the hospital would help to control the transmission of coronavirus and facilitate treatment to readymade garment (RMG) workers and poor people in the area free of charge.
BGMEA president Dr Rubana Huq added the organisation, which has also set up a testing lab for workers in Chandra, will do its best to extend health care facilities to RMG workers and urged BGMEA leaders in Chattogram to increase the capacity of the hospital.
The BGMEA has recently partnered with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BKMEA) to launch a virtual training package aimed at preparing and maintaining safer working conditions for garment workers in the South Asian country both during and post-pandemic.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said this week Covid-19 has had a “devastating impact” on the country’s RMG sector and expressed concern over the growing level of job losses on the economy.