Lockdown may be extended for another week

Staff Correspondent

12 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Following the detection of the highly contagious Indian variant of coronavirus in Bangladesh, the government is planning to extend the ongoing countrywide lockdown for another week in an effort to stop the strain from spreading.

While talking to reporters on Tuesday, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said they have a plan to extend the lockdown by seven days from May 17 to stem the surge in coronavirus cases after the Indian variant was found in the country.

The deadly bug can put the lives of the country’s people at risk, he said.

Talking over the gazette notification on the lockdown extension, the state minister said it will be issued on May 16.

Underscoring the need for wearing masks to chase away the virus, he said, “Or else, it’ll be dangerous for us.”

On Saturday, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed the detection of the Indian strain, which was classified by the World Health Organization as a "variant of global concern", in Bangladesh.

The strain of the virus has been found in samples of two people who had been in India.

Earlier, the government on May 5 extended the lockdown for 11 more days to May 16 allowing intra-district transport services. Besides, shops and malls are permitted to operate from 10:00am to 8:00pm.  Prior to that, the government imposed an apparently lax nationwide lockdown for one week from April 5 as the coronavirus cases continued to rise alarmingly from mid-March.

But the government allowed the resumption of public transport services in city corporation areas from April 7 as well as reopening of shops and markets for five days from April 9 in the face of protests against the lockdown. The apparently relaxed lockdown was extended by two more days until April 13.

As per the suggestions of health experts, the government enforced a stricter lockdown from April 14 to April 22.

Later, another gazette notification was issued extending the shutdown by another week to April 28 and then until May 5.

As the coronavirus situation has taken a serious turn in India, the government closed the borders with the neighbouring country from April 26.