Bangladesh: Lockdown begins, over 7000 new Covid cases for the second consecutive day

The week-long countrywide lockdown started in Bangladesh on Monday amid continuing surge in COVID 19 cases in the country.

Government stepped up efforts to enforce lockdown in the country with police forces and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) conducting a drive in the capital city Dhaka to impose fines on people not wearing masks or flouting the health directives. 

Public transport in the country including buses, trains, waterways and domestic flights have been suspended but private cars and rickshaws continue to operate in Dhaka. Shops and malls are closed. Government and private offices have been directed to run with half of their employee strength but factories are open in shifts.

Sporadic instances of protest against the lockdown were reported from Dhaka.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told media after the cabinet meeting in Dhaka on Monday that decision on extending the lockdown will be taken on Thursday based on the assessment of the COVID 19 situation in the country. 

He said that there is no problem with the stock of COVID 19 vaccine as Bangladesh will get the supply of the doses from India within the scheduled time, reports the official news agency BSS.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday directed the authorities to roll out the second dose of COVID 19 vaccine from April 8 as per schedule. 

Meanwhile, the surge in COVID 19 cases continued in Bangladesh. On Monday for the second consecutive day more than 7000 new coronavirus cases were reported from the country. It is the first time since the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic in March last year that over 7000 new infections have been reported in the country. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) reported 52 deaths in the last 24 hours taking the death toll to 9318. The positivity rate of the samples also continued to be high at 23.40 percent.

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