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Bangladesh

Bangladesh's poor hit hard by Covid-19 outbreak

As lockdowns are imposed and panic-stricken residents isolate themselves at home, low-income people struggle to survive

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Bangladesh's poor hit hard by Covid-19 outbreak

Akbar Hossain, a seasonal fruit seller, tries to earn money in the Mirpur area of Dhaka. Street vendors face huge losses as panic-stricken city dwellers stay at home. (Photo: Stephan Uttom/UCA News)

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Akbar Hossain looked anxious and frustrated as he sat with a basketful of guava at Mirpur-10 roundabout in northern Dhaka.

“Every day I sell fruits worth about 2,000 taka (US$24). It’s 12pm now and I have not sold a single fruit yet. I have never experienced such a disappointing situation,” Akbar, 18, told UCA News.

For nearly a week he has been forced to sell guava at an extremely low price due a massive slump in demand.

“Usually, guava sells at 70 taka per kilogram, but I am forced to sell at 20-30 taka. If this continues, I’ll have to leave the city and go back to my village soon,” he said.

Akbar, a Muslim, has been a seasonal fruit seller for the past three years since he left his village in Bhola district in southern Bangladesh to find fortune in the bustling capital.

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