'Doha has again demonstrated its far-sighted leadership by taking right steps at the right time for the health and safety of all its residents without any discrimination'

By Ashud Ahmed, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Qatar

Qatar is one of the countries that is handling the Covid-19 pandemic pragmatically and in a well-organised way from the very beginning of the outbreak. The swift response of the Qatari leadership has proved effective and successful in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Qatar has again demonstrated its far-sighted leadership by taking the right steps at the right time for the health and safety of all its residents without any discrimination.

All countries of the world are affected by this pandemic in some way or the other. This unique global challenge has compelled countries to close their national borders and made all of us look into the basics of our life.

Qatar hosts many nationalities within its national borders. In recent years, the country has pioneered a number of legal reforms to promote and protect the rights of expatriate workers. The Qatari leadership has again demonstrated its pioneering role in promoting the interests of migrant workers during this crisis.

The Qatar government has assured that the migrant workers who are stranded in their home countries because of flight suspension will be allowed to enter Qatar even if their visas expire. The Qatar government has also announced that all residents, irrespective of their legal status in Qatar, shall have access to health services. They have ensured the supply of food and medical facilities in the lockdown area and asked all companies to look after their workers. Qatar Charity (QC) and Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) are also helping destitute workers and families in Qatar.

The Qatar government has engaged community members to create awareness among their communities. Awareness materials are made in different languages, including Bangla, to easily communicate with different expatriate communities.

The Supreme Committee for Crisis Management has been playing a great role in disseminating information and directives, giving no scope for ambiguity in this crisis period. A one-stop contact point in the key ministries, such as the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of

Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, has made communication easy during this crisis period.

All these initiatives, taken during a pandemic like this, speak about the organised way in which Qatar has responded to the crisis and how

Qatar cares about its residents.

Around 4,00,000 Bangladeshi expatriates are living in Qatar. There are professionals, businessmen, salaried and non-salaried workers within our community. All of our community people in Qatar care about Qatar as much as they care about Bangladesh. The Qatar government has asked all companies to look after their workers. However, some segments of our community, like self-employed persons, small shop owners, small contracting companies, limousine or taxi drivers and other non-salaried workers, are facing financial hardship because of economic inactivity created by the unprecedented situation.

Given this, the Bangladesh community stands unitedly behind Qatar’s fight against the novel coronavirus. I would call upon every member of the Bangladesh community in Qatar to consider the crisis as the crisis of all and extend every possible support to the Qatar government in combating the novel coronavirus.

I would urge all of my compatriots to follow the directives of the Qatar government word by word. Here lie all our benefits and ultimate success.

As the ambassador of Bangladesh to the State of Qatar, I feel proud and happy that the Qatar government has been providing excellent support to our community throughout the crisis period.

I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for his able leadership that has been tested many times in the past in handling a crisis.

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