Potential Public Health Threats to Ready Made Garments (RMG) Workers During COVID -19 in Bangladesh: A Call for Actions
5 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2020 Last revised: 7 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 1, 2020
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become the most critical and greatest global health disaster of the century that the humankind faced since the Second World War. The public authorities of different countries are continuing the lockdown period to mitigate the probable dispersion of the virus. Though continuing lockdown is minimizing the impact of COVID-19 in several countries, it is affecting the economy of the countries at the same time inversely. The apparel industry is considered as one of the most vulnerable sectors. Bangladesh is not an exception to that, as it is the second-largest Readymade Garment (RMG) exporter following China. The suppliers were struggling with financial issues and could not pay the legal wages to the workers. Thus the ultimate impact of COVID-19 fell upon the workers of this sector. They became the most victim due to the order cancellation and delay order shipments. Millions of RMG workers in Bangladesh were started to face layoffs or furloughs. The overall condition led to re-open some garment factories during the lockdown by following proper instructions regarding COVID-19. However, the situation became worst when the workers were not maintaining the health instructions. Therefore, the RMG factories should ensure that the workers are maintaining the minimum distance between each other. A collaborative approach of the government authorities i.e. Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), Industrial police, and the local police authorities, should be materialized in ensuring the safety measurements along with other preventive measurement strategies.
Keywords: COVID-19, Ready-Made Garments, Workers, Future Strategies
JEL Classification: J63, J71, J81, J83.
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