The Bangladesh government has closed down the country’s largest brothel for 15 days as a preventive measure against coronavirus.
“From today (Friday), the brothel at the Daulatdia was closed temporarily as part of precautions against coronavirus. The sex workers were asked not to allow any visitor until April 5,” Efe news quoted local police chief Ashiqur Rahman as saying.
The brothel was one of many other businesses that have been ordered to close to help fight the spread of the deadly virus, which has infected 20 people and killed one person in Bangladesh so far.
Daulatdia brothel on the bank of river Padma and near a major highway some 100 km west of Dhaka is the largest of the approximately 12 brothels in the country.
Prostitution is illegal in mainly Muslim Bangladesh, but Ashiqur said they do not interfere in the trade, which has operated in the country for centuries.
Jhumur Begum, who heads a charity for sex workers, said the brothel, where some 1,500 sex workers are employed, is frequented by about 5,000 customers everyday.
Begum said they have appealed to the authorities for help after the brothel was declared closed as a precaution for coronavirus.
“The sex workers accepted the government order because it”s a serious health issue,” she said.
A total of 14,264 people in the country had been put in a home quarantine so far while 107 people were being kept in isolation for suspected coronavirus infections.