On Saturday, more than 100,000 people attended a funeral for a senior leader of the Islamist party, defying the country’s lockdown order prohibiting more than five people attending prayers at one time.
As many countries around the world struggle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities now worry that Saturday’s gathering could create a massive new outbreak.
Maulana Zubayer Ahmad Ansari was an Islamic teacher, and tens of thousands of people amassed in the Brahmanbaria district for his funeral, according to local leaders.
Police tried to control the crowd, but ultimately, they were overwhelmed by the sheer size of the crowds. A spokesperson for Bangladesh Police Central announced that a committee was being formed to investigate how such a large crowd was able to gather without being contained by police.
Bangladesh had only recorded 2,456 positive cases of Coronavirus and 91 deaths as of Sunday, but officials have warned that the actual numbers are likely much, much higher due to testing resources being unavailable.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given me multiple opportunities to cover the ways in which leaders have failed because they have let their own religious beliefs cloud their judgement, as well as situations where communities have acted completely irresponsibly because, again, religious belief trumps common sense.
As we face a worldwide crisis, there is a maddening and staggering number of people who want to endanger as many people as possible for their ridiculous beliefs in ancient myths and superstitions.