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Bangladesh to extend lockdown by a week in virus flareup

Bangladesh to extend lockdown by a week in virus flareup

Eastern Times  Correspondent, Dhaka, 19 April: Bangladesh government has decided to enforce a fresh countrywide lockdown for a week from 22 April as coronavirus cases still rising in the country.

“The lockdown will remain in force from 22 to 28 April with the same restrictions imposed in the previous week. It’ll be a tougher one,” said State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain.

The summary of today’s decision has been sent to the Prime Minister and a gazette will be issued once it gets her approval, he said.

The ongoing lockdown will end on 21 April.

Besides, the secretaries of different ministries recommended extending the ongoing strict lockdown for one more week as Covid-19 deaths and cases are still spiraling in Bangladesh. A meeting of the secretaries, led by Cabinet secretary, took the decision today.

Earlier in the day, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader also hinted about lockdown extension. He said the lockdown restrictions could be relaxed before Eid.

Earlier last night, the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 recommended extending ongoing strict lockdown for another week. The committee raised grave concern over the high infection and the growing number of deaths across the country.

The committee last week recommended two-week strict lockdown as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country harder in recent weeks.

Following the instruction, the government initially enforced weeklong stricter lockdown measures from 14-21 April.

Bangladesh reported more than 100 fatalities in last three consecutive days. On Saturday, single day highest 102 deaths were reported. The Covid-19 death toll reached 10,385 in the country. Meanwhile, total caseload now stands at 718,950.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise alarmingly from late March, the government imposed an apparently loose nationwide lockdown for one week from 5 April as part of its move to contain its spread.

But the government allowed the resumption of public transport in city corporation areas from 7 April as well as reopening shops and shopping malls for five days from April 9 in the face of protests against the lockdown.

A stricter lockdown was declared from 14 to 21 April and the Cabinet division issued a notification in this regard.

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