Bangladesh to enforce 7-day lockdown from Monday as virus surges

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Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader disclosed the government’s latest move to limit the spread of the coronavirus at a media briefing in Dhaka on Saturday.

As the coronavirus transmission is spreading fast, the government is going to reimpose a nationwide seven-day lockdown, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said in a video message.

However, the order does not apply to utility and emergency services.

Factories will remain open and workers can work shifts by following hygiene rules.

The first lockdown, described as a general holiday by the government along with a transport shutdown, started on Mar 26, 2020 after the first COVID-19 cases and deaths were reported in Bangladesh.

The public were told to stay at home with all sorts of public transports – land, air and water – suspended.

Before that all educational instructions were announced shut from Mar 17, 2020. The HSC and equivalent exams, which were scheduled to begin on Apr 1, were suspended as well.

The government ordered offices, public transport system, domestic flights and stock exchanges to reopen on May 31, 2020, after two months of lockdown. It had issued sets of health safety guidelines for protection from the virus, saying the strict rules would be re-imposed if the situation worsened.

The pandemic took an alarming turn in the second half of March this year. Bangladesh on Friday logged 6,830 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest count in a day, taking the tally of infections to 624,594. The death toll climbed by 50 in 24 hours to 9,155, according to data released by the government.

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