More than 500 garment factories in Bangladesh that supply to global brands reopened on Monday after a month-long shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, while in India calls grew for an easing of its lockdown which has caused deep economic pain
Clothing manufacturers in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka and the port city of Chittagong have been permitted to resume work. Some of the world’s biggest clothing firms including Gap Inc, Zara-owner Inditex and H&M source their supplies from Bangladesh. Industry groups for the sector, which boasts some 4,000 factories employing 4.1 million workers, had warned the shutdown could cause the country to lose $6 billion in export revenue this financial year.
Bangladesh’s competitors such as Vietnam, China and Cambodia have already resumed operations, Hatem said. Bangladesh has reported more than 5,000 cases of the coronavirus and 145 deaths. In India, where a strict shutdown for its 1.3 billion people is due to end on May 3, Prime Minister Narendra began talks with the chief ministers of the country’s 28 states to decide on what restrictions should be kept in place.
Ashok Gehlot, the chief minister of the western state of Rajasthan, said any extension of the severe lockdown could lead to people starving and the government should allow economic activity to begin in less-affected areas.