Restaurants are open in the city amid the rising cases of coronavirus. But, most of them, even the famous ones, do not follow the health guidelines instructed by the government properly, putting the diners at risk.
The government issued a set of guidelines to be strictly followed by the hotels and restaurants following their reopening after one month of closure to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) issued the guidelines on health safety measures on May 2 for offices, institutions, establishments, including restaurants, to prevent the further spread of the deadly virus.
According to the health guidelines, a thermal scanner at the entrances of each restaurant is mandatory to measure temperature of the customers and dining tables need to be disinfected every time after use.
Visiting several popular restaurants in the city’s Mirpur, Gulshan, Moghbazar, and Khilgaon areas, the UNB Correspondents found no thermal scanner at the entrance points of those.
Besides, no one was available to sanitize customers’ hands and even there was no arrangement of disinfectants at the entrances.
However, dining tables were seen placed maintaining distance so that diners could follow social distancing.
Kacchi Bhai is a restaurant that has five branches and one of them is situated at Mirpur-10.
When attention was drawn about the absence of disinfectant, sanitizer and thermal scanner at the entrance of the restaurant, Rafiqul Islam Koyel, manager of Mirpur Branch of Kacchi Bhai, said,” We’ve everything to maintain hygienes but now that arrangements are not available as we have just opened the restaurant.”
When his attention was drown saying that many customers are taking launch at the moment, he did not make any comment in this regard.
Sayed Alam, a private farm official, who was taking launch with his family members, said,” Though I always carry hand sanitizer for my safety, but it is the responsibility of the restaurant authority to ensure everything to maintain government announced health guidelines.”
“Today is the first time that I came out with my family members to take launch since the countrywide shutdown was imposed on March 26,” he added.
I preferred to visit the well-known restaurant as I had thought popular restaurants are following health guidelines properly, he said.
Visiting Rabbani Hotel and Restaurant at Mirpur-10 Jote Patti Road, the correspondent found the same.
No sanitizer, no thermal scanner as well as no disinfectant was available at the entrance of the restaurant. The manager of the restaurant, Abu Saleh, said the number of customers is very thin. “Sanitizer is available in the cash counter. Besides, a handwashing facility is also available inside the restaurant,” he added.
Premium Sweets, a very popular restaurant of Gulshan- 2 circles, also has no arrangement of disinfectant, thermal scanner, and sanitizers the entrance.
When contacted, Head of Corporate Affairs of the Canadian restaurant Mahbubur Rahman Bakul admitted that though they have all the facilities in compliance with the health guidelines, those were not available at the entrance at that moment.
Regretting it, he said though they have given instruction to strictly follow the health guidelines, concerned persons are not following it.
Visiting Bharta Bhat, a renowned restaurant of Moghbazar crossing and Dhaka Hotel restaurant of Khilgaon Tilpapara it was found that no arrangements were kept there for the health safety of the diners although there is no visible improvement in coronavirus situation in the country.
On March 8, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) announced for the first time the detection of three Covid-19 patients in Bangladesh. Later the IEDCR reported the first death case due to the deadly virus infection on March 18.
In the backdrop of increasing the number of COVID-19 patients and deaths cases, the government announced countrywide general holidays from March 26 to prevent spread COVID-19 infection. Later, it was extended several times and finally, the countrywide general holidays were withdrawn from June 1.
The government started to allow some restaurants open conditionally from April 27. Considering the financial losses amid the pandemic, many restaurants are yet to open in the capital.