Bangladesh goes into 2nd phase of strict lockdown


The strict restrictions imposed last week will remain in force

The second phase of the ongoing strict lockdown has started on Thursday, following the current surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

Starting from April 7, the country has gone through a soft lockdown and a strict lockdown for the past two weeks.

The first phase of strict lockdown, which started on April 14, ended on Wednesday midnight and the second phase started from 6am on Thursday to continue till April 28.

In the first phase, as the days went by, the strict restrictions to be implemented during the week-long lockdown seemed to be loosening.

Although the number of vehicles on the city roads was less at the beginning of the lockdown, later all types of transport except buses were seen plying on the roads. Some areas even saw heavy traffic jams.

The movement of people also increased on the street despite the government imposing strict restrictions on their movement with 11-point directives to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Police were also found to be less strict at the check posts.

Restrictions to continue

For the second phase, the strict restrictions on public movement and gathering imposed last week will remain in force, said a gazette notification issued on Tuesday.
All kinds of public transports – roads, riverways, railways, and air – are scheduled to remain suspended during the lockdown.

However, offices related to air, maritime, and river and land ports are to remain out of the purview of the lockdown.

Restrictions are not imposed on the carrying of goods, emergency services and production.

Offices, staff and vehicles of organizations providing emergency services, including law enforcement, agricultural products (fertilizer, seeds, pesticides, and machineries), crops, food-laden vehicles, relief distribution, health services, health workers involved in mass vaccination, power, water, gas, fire services, port activities, media (print and electronic), private security management, telephone, and postal services are expected to remain out of the purview of the restrictions.
Industries and factories are set to remain open on condition that they maintain health protocols.

The respective factories or industries must take measures to ferry their employees in their own vehicles.

Public movement

Public movement will be restricted and no one will be allowed to go out except for certain emergency needs – such as to purchase medicines, daily essentials, avail medical services, take Covid-19 jabs, and burial or cremation of dead bodies.

Hotels and restaurants will be allowed to operate from 12 noon to 7pm and 12 midnight to 6am on takeaway/online services only.

Markets and shops

All shopping malls and markets are to remain closed during this period.

Daily essential items, notably kitchen items, can be sold and purchased from open spaces between 9am and 3pm.

Local administrations and the authorities concerned are to ensure that health guidelines are maintained when such activities are undertaken.

Boro paddy harvest

The local administrations concerned are supposed to take steps in a coordinated way for ferrying agricultural workers for Boro paddy harvest.

District and field administrations will take necessary measures to enforce the directives in a coordinated fashion.

The law enforcement agencies are set to strengthen patrol and take legal action against those who violate the directives.

The director general of the Directorate General of Health Services is supposed to take necessary steps to engage the law enforcement agencies and local administrations on his behalf.

Bangladesh has been again seeing a steep rise in Covid-19 deaths and infections in the last few weeks, taking the tally of the total infected to 732,060 and fatalities to 10,683 till Wednesday.

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