Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Saturday said the public transport services would remain suspended across the country till April 11 with a view to containing the spread of coronavirus.
“Trucks, covered vans and the vehicles carrying medicine, fuel and perishable goods will remain out of its purview but those vehicles would not be allowed to carry passengers,” he said at a press conference at his official residence on Parliament Secretariat premises.Bangladesh has so far reported eight deaths in the country while at least 70 patients were detected with the bug. The World Health Organization already declared the coronavirus crisis a pandemic.
The COVID-19, first reported in China’s Wuhan, has been spread to nearly 200 countries across the globe.
Death toll from the coronavirus or COVID-19 has climbed to 58929 globally while 11,00283 have been infected with the deadly virus till filing the report at 5:00pm.
The World Health Organisation has also suggested Bangladesh to go into lockdown and declare emergency due to the outbreak.
The government already declared a 10-day national holidays for all public and private offices, except emergency services, from March 26 to April 4 to check the coronavirus outbreak.
Amid fears of outbreak of the virus, the government has extended the general leave to April 9 along with the two weekly holidays on April 10 and April 11.Quader, also Awami League general secretary, said considering the public interest in a changing situation, the government decided to suspend the movement of all public transports in the country.
Quader said Bangladesh is in a better position in checking coronavirus than the United Kingdom, the USA, Italy, France and many other developed countries.
“And we have made it possible due to the time-befitting and proper initiatives taken by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he added.
The bridges minister said people would be able to renew their driving licenses and fitness of vehicles with regular fees up to June 30 next if the validity of their driving licenses and the fitness certificates of vehicles expire during the general holidays announced by the government.
He called upon the AL leaders and activists to stand by the poor and workless people during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The AL spokesperson also asked them to remain alert so that people could not gather and maintain social distancing with a view to preventing the deadly virus.