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28 Apr 2020

Bangkok Post

Bangladesh garment factories reopen, defying virus lockdown

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27 April 2020

...  Hundreds of Bangladesh's garment factories defied a nationwide coronavirus lockdown... [to reopen] raising fears the industry's vulnerable and largely female workforce could be exposed to the contagion...

Factories shut their doors in late March but some suppliers said they were now being pushed by retailers to fulfill outstanding export orders... MB Knit company had reopened part of a factory that makes clothing for Britain's Primark and several other retailers...

Mofazzal Hossain said he felt compelled to return to his factory, where he earns $115 a month. "The fear of coronavirus is there," he told AFP. "But I am now more worried about losing my job, wages and benefits."..

Labour rights leaders said they were fearful the return to work could spark an explosion of Covid-19 cases. "Its impact could be worse than Rana Plaza," said activist Kalpona Akter...

Part of the following timelines

Bangladesh: Seven years on from Rana Plaza factory collapse, garment workers' lives at risk again amid COVID-19

Bangladesh: Garment workers at risk of COVID-19 infection as factories supplying to major brands reopen, against Health Ministry advice