Restrictions on a limited scale from Monday
The government has decided to enforce a nationwide all-out lockdown from Thursday (July 1) while a lockdown on a ‘limited scale’ will remain in effect from Monday (June 28).
The decision came from a high-level meeting on Saturday presided over by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan.
According to people who attended the meeting, public transport will be suspended from Monday.
Factories, especially export-oriented ones, are likely to be exempted from the restrictions, they said, adding that banks were also likely to operate on a limited scale.
The Cabinet Division will issue a notification on Sunday detailing the restrictions, Principal Information Officer Surath Kumar Sarker of the Press Information Department (PID) told the media.
“An all-out lockdown for seven days will be imposed from July 1,” he said.
On Friday, the PID announced the move to impose a week-long complete shutdown from Monday.
“A strict lockdown will be enforced for seven days starting from Monday. It might be extended, depending on the [Covid-19] situation,” State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain told the media the same day.
No one will be allowed to leave home without emergency reasons, he said, adding that the army would be called in to assist the police and the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troopers to enforce the ‘strict lockdown’.
All government and private offices will remain closed during the lockdown, said Hossain, adding that some bank branches and offices of the National Board of Revenue would operate until June 30 for the national budget.
All kinds of transports, except for those carrying emergency supplies, will remain suspended during the lockdown. However, ambulances and vehicles used for healthcare services and media would be exempted from the curbs.
The government’s new lockdown plans came after the national Covid-19 advisory panel on Thursday recommended imposing a complete shutdown for two weeks.
Soon after the panel made the recommendation, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain told the media that the authorities were all set to impose a complete shutdown any time.
As Covid-19 cases kept growing at an alarming rate since mid-March this year, the government was forced to impose a nationwide lockdown for one week from April 5 to contain the spread.
Later, a stricter set of restrictions on public movement and gathering were extended several times, including the latest one till July 15.
Additionally, the authorities across the country had been imposing district-wise restrictions on public movement in areas with higher Covid-19 infections till now.
The death toll from coronavirus in Bangladesh crossed 14,000 on Saturday, with the health authorities reporting 77 new fatalities. It took only 15 days for the toll to rise by 1,000.
The total caseload reached 883,138 as 4,334 new infections were reported.