Country goes into lockdown from Monday

Special Correspondent

3rd April, 2021 12:17:53 printer

Country goes into lockdown from Monday

The government has decided to enforce a weeklong lockdown across the country from Monday to check the ongoing surge of coronavirus.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced the decision at a virtual media briefing from his official residence on parliament premises on Saturday.

“The government has taken the decision as the fatal virus is on rising trend and has infected over 6,000 people in the last two consecutive days,” he said.

“The government is going to enforce a lockdown within the next two to three days for a week across the country,” State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said in a video message.

But, industrial factories and emergency services will remain open during the lockdown and shifting duty will continue in factories, he added.

All public and private offices, except industrial factories and emergency services, will remain closed during the lockdown.

The disease, which was in down trend even in February, marked a sharp rise from the last week of March, compelling the government to enforce shutdown for the welfare of the countrymen.

After the announcement of the two cabinet members, the Cabinet Division held a virtual meeting with Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam in the chair.

Prime Minister’s Office Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, senior secretaries of the ministries concerned and top officials of law enforcement agencies and Health Department were present at the meeting.

Meeting sources said a proposal for a weeklong lockdown has been sent to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her consent.

“A notification will be issued after getting her approval,” said the source, wishing not to be named.

Health experts say coronavirus is in rising trend in the country as people ignore health safety guidelines declared by the government as preventive measures against Covid-19.

On March 29, the government issued an 18-point directive to contain Covid-19 cases, imposing a ban on all types of public gatherings and making 14-day quarantine mandatory for incoming passengers from abroad.

Bangladesh has imposed a ban on all travellers’ entry into the country from the Europe, excluding UK, and 12 other countries for two weeks.

Tourist spots in Sylhet, Comilla, Kuakata, Saint Martin's Island, and Chittagong have been shut for the next two weeks to combat the deadly coronavirus.

The Election Commission on Thursday postponed all elections in the wake of the surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) will be strict about enforcing the lockdown, said DMP Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam told reporters on Saturday.

Police will be strict about health safety rules and the lockdown.

Police will hold a meeting on Sunday to review last year’s lockdown and plan to implement the experience, he added.

On March 23 last year, the government declared a 10-day national holiday for all public and private offices, except emergency services, from March 26 to April 4 to check the coronavirus outbreak.

The government also deployed members of the armed forces at the field level to help the civil administration maintain social distancing and other health safety guidelines.