The government will impose complete lockdown again for two weeks just one day after Eid-ul-Azha on July 21, shutting down all factories in a bid to contain the ongoing surge of coronavirus.
The fresh lockdown will come into effect from July 23 after the restriction has been relaxed for eight days for Eid celebrations, movement of commoners and businesses ahead of the religious festival.“Restrictions will resume after the holy Eid. The fresh lockdown will start from 6:00am on July 23 and it will end on August 5 midnight,” said a notification issued by the Cabinet Division on Tuesday.
Earlier, the government enforced all-out lockdown for a week from July 1 as the coronavirus deaths and infections have been increasing by leaps and bounds.
Later, the lockdown was extended for another week until July 14, which will end today midnight.
Another official circular said on Tuesday that the closure of Bangladesh’s border with India has been extended until July 31. The government is easing the lockdown at a time when country’s coronavirus situation is continuing to worsen. On Tuesday, 203 people died from Covid-19 while 12,198 cases of new infections were detected.
According to the 21-point directives, two conditions -- asking government officials to work virtually and shutting down all kinds of factories -- have been added to the new notification.
Under the directives, all government, semi-government, autonomous and private offices will be closed, but they will remain on their workstations.Operation of rail and waterways public transport (including domestic aircraft) and all types of motorised vehicles will be suspended.
Trucks, lorry, covered vans and cargo vessels used for transportation of goods will be exempted from the ban. Ports (air, sea, naval and land) and related offices will be exempted from the ban.
Law enforcement and other emergency services such as agricultural elements (fertilizer, seeds, pesticides, equipment etc), crops and transportation, relief distribution, health services, covid-19 vaccination, electricity, water, gas/petroleum, fire service, telephone and internet (government- private), media (print and electronic media), private security systems, post, bank, pharmacy and pharmaceuticals and other emergency and essential products and services related offices, their employees and vehicles can move showing their institutional identity cards.
Shopping malls and markets and shops will be closed. All tourist centres, resorts, community centres and recreation centres will remain closed.
All public gatherings such as social (wedding ceremonies, birthdays, picnics, parties, etc), political and religious ceremonies will be suspended.
The Supreme Court will issue necessary directives to the courts and the Bangladesh Bank will issue necessary instructions to ensure banking services.
The Finance Division will provide necessary instructions to keep the office of the Accounting Officer at the divisional, district and upazila level open.
Kitchen markets materials and daily necessities can be bought and sold in the open from 9:00am to 3:00pm in accordance with hygiene rules. Market authorities / local administration will confirm the matter.
Except for absolute necessity (medicine and daily essential products, treatment, burial/funeral, etc), no one can go outside.
Movements will be allowed for Covid-19 vaccine candidates upon presenting vaccine card.
Food shops and hotels-restaurants will be open for takeaway/online from 8:00am to 8:00pm.
International flights will continue and passengers will be able to travel via car by showing their international travel tickets.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs will issue instructions regarding prayers in the mosque following hygiene rules.
Under the ‘Army in Aid to Civil Power Act’, the Armed Forces Division will deploy the required number of troops to ensure effective patrolling at the field level. The district magistrate will confirm the matter in consultation with the local army commander.
The district magistrate will hold a coordination meeting with the concerned officers at the district level to determine the jurisdiction, method, and time of patrolling of the Army, BGB/Coast Guard, Police, RAB and Ansar.
The Ministry of Public Administration will ensure the appointment of the required number of Executive Magistrates at the field level.
Under the Infectious Diseases (Prevention, Control and Eradication) Act, 2018, the Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) will allow the district administration and the police force to take legal action on his behalf.
Earlier, the government on July 5 extended all-out strict lockdown by seven days after the first spell of a strict lockdown was imposed from July 1 as the number of deaths and infections increased by leaps and bounds.
Earlier on June 30, the Cabinet Division extended the lockdown from July 1 to 7, imposing 21-point restrictions.
Before going to strict enforcement of lockdown from July 1, the government on June 16 last extended the countrywide ‘so-called’ lockdown for a month until July 15, reopening all government and private offices, autonomous organisations, banks and financial institutions.
Indo-Bangla border to remain closed until July 31
On June 28, the closure of the border with India was extended for another 14 days until July 14. The border was first closed on April 26 to check spread of corona transmission.
On June 6, the government extended the countrywide lockdown for 10 days until June 16, saying the deputy commissioners of high-risk districts can announce lockdown in their respective areas after discussion with the local representatives and the committees concerned.
Due to a rise in coronavirus cases from mid-March, the government imposed a relaxed lockdown for one week from April 5.
But the government allowed 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 relaxed lockdown was extended for 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, which was extended until July 15 in phases.
On May 8 last, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed the detection of the Delta variant, which was classified by the World Health Organization as a "variant of global concern", in Bangladesh.
The country’s educational institutions remained closed from last year and it will remain closed until July 31.