Although officially there are now 228 deaths in Bangladesh, the actual figure is likely to be much higher. A local newspaper recently reported that the country is gradually moving towards the peak and that the infection is in its tenth week. Every week more and more people are becoming infected.
Until recently testing in Bangladesh had been limited to Dhaka and whilst there are now regional centres and tests are carried out daily, it is extremely hard to identify cases in isolated areas so the number of infected cases and deaths will certainly be much higher.
As Eid is before the end of May, the government has been under pressure to open shops and from Sunday 11th May many have now opened. This time of year many small shops earn a living from selling gifts, like new clothes, for families. It has been muted that from May 16 public transport will resume.
In The Sreepur Village, we are still having to send people to the bank and government offices but we try and send as few people as possible and we insist that they have to wear the full protective gear, which garment factories have been making so we do not deprive our hospitals.
It may look extreme but there is no concept of social distancing here and the market and bank areas are still crowded. When anyone returns they clean their protective gear and take a shower where our beauty parlour which is on the main road away from our mothers and children. If one person introduces the virus to The Sreepur Village, it will spread quickly and the impact would be catastrophic.
No outsider is allowed to cross the red line and vendors have to leave goods on the other side of the line. Once a week fresh supplies or things we have run out of are delivered to the gate. They are then brought across to the gate by our staff and washed in a bleach solution. The box and metal bowl are for letter/invoices/small packages etc.
Living in The Sreepur Village are approximately 15 very vulnerable people with multiple conditions like asthma and diabetes and another twenty vulnerable people with just one condition such as high blood pressure. Statistics have indicated that those with underlying conditions are the most affected, and it is with heartfelt thanks to you, our supporters, that we are able to continue implementing the emergency measures that will help to keep the virus out and focus on how best to isolate these people if necessary.
We recently received a substantial donation of dried goods (puffed rice, cakes, biscuits etc - all things that do not need to be cooked) from the District Commissioners office. These packages are being distributed to all people with a limited income which includes our mothers and children in The Sreepur Village.
Thank you again for helping us to prevent Covid19 from taking the hope away from our mothers and their children, your donations are helping to keep more families together, side by side and safe in The Sreepur Village.
If you would like to donate to our appeal, then please click here
As The Sreepur Village has protective measures in place to welcome new families during the Covid pandemic, we would like to share with you a story of why these mothers are in desperate need of our shelter, food and care.
Until Monday, we were unable to admit any new families to The Sreepur Village, but as identified cases of the virus are increasing daily, we are now able to safely admit some impoverished families who are in desperate need of shelter, food and care.
As Small Charities and Volunteers’ Week both fall in June, one of our long-standing supporters, Andy Bennett, has kindly offered to share with us her experiences with The Sreepur Village charity from the initial concept in the 1980’s to the current village today, which helps keep together 150 impoverished mothers and their 300 children, empowering families with hope for a brighter future: