Wednesday, September 22

Covid claims 133 bankers’ lives

A total of 133 bank officials have died of Coronavirus infection in Bangladesh till May while 25,399 others were infected with the virus in 15 months.

Number of dead and infected bank officials has increased in June.

The banks are giving up to Tk 5 million as compensation to the family members of the covid victims. Family of workers will get Tk 2.5 million while trainee assistant officers to lower rank officers get Tk 3.75 million.

Bangladesh Bank asked authorities of banks to provide transport facilities for the bankers but most of the private banks do not comply with the direction. Branches of banks do not maintain social distancing rules leaving officials and workers at the risk of being infected.

According to Bangladesh Bank statistics, the number of total bank officials and employees in the country was 183,206 up to last December. A total of 14 per cent of them was infected with the deadly virus till May.

Analysing the statistics of death among the bankers, it was found that the rate of infection is higher among the officials in the busier branches. On the contrary, infection rate is lower among the officials of the banks which took more precautionary measures.

Bangladesh Bank executive director and spokesperson Sirajul Islam told Prothom Alo that the authorities asked banks to follow different guidelines to ensure safety of employees and customers. Banks were supposed to follow those guidelines.

Among the dead bank officials, 73 are of public banks. Sonali Bank lost 25 of its officials, most among the banks. Number of infected officials is also highest in Sonali Bank. A total of 2,795 officials and employees of the state-owned bank were infected till May. Janata Bank lost 15 officials while Agrani Bank and Krishi Bank 10 each.

Janata Bank’s managing director (MD) Abdus Salam Azad told Prothom Alo, “We are bearing treatment cost of the infected employees. Those who died would receive compensation. No family has received compensation so far as no documents were submitted as of now. Sixteen officials have already died and another in critical condition. We are trying to continue our service maintaining social distancing.”

Islami Bank follows state-owned banks in terms of number of infected officials. A total of 2,407 officials-employees of the bank were infected. Among them, six died. Six officials of National Bank and five officials of UCBL lost their lives due to Covid-19. A total of 785 National Bank officials and 684 of UCBL officials were infected with the virus.

Among foreign banks, only HSBC lost two of its officials while Standard Chartered Bank tops in terms of infected officials with 499 infected.

City Bank’s first vice president of human resource management department Mujtaba Shahriar, 40, died of Covid-19 as the first bank official. He died at Mugda General Hospital on 26 April.

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