The National Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 has recommended the enforcement of a complete lockdown for a minimum of two weeks in the city corporation and municipality areas to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Bangladesh.
The decision to extend the ongoing shutdown should be taken after reviewing the infection rate at the end of its two-week term, the committee said in a statement, reports bdnews24.com.
The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths has skyrocketed amid a general apathy for the 18-point directive issued by the prime minister’s office and other rules set by the Cabinet Division, the statement said.
“This is why the pathogen is spreading faster. The rules must be followed strictly.”
The government has taken different steps to increase the service capacity in the hospitals, according to the committee. However, the hospitals must further increase their capacity to deal with the massive influx of patients, it said.
As the coronavirus cases continued to surge over the past few weeks, the government imposed a nationwide lockdown for seven days on Apr 5, shutting down public transports.
Restrictions were also imposed on markets, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants.
Altering the lockdown rules, public transports have been allowed to operate in the city corporation area from morning to evening since Wednesday.
The Cabinet Division issued an 11-point directive on Sunday, allowing banks, government and private offices to remain open on a limited scale for emergency work.
Shop owners and employees launched protests demanding that shops be allowed to stay open before Ramadan and Pahela Baishakh or Bengali New Year.
The government subsequently permitted stores and shopping malls to reopen on Friday, subject to strict compliance with health and hygiene rules.
The business hours for shops have been set from 9 am to 5 pm between Apr 9 and Apr 13.
The government plans to enforce another week-long lockdown with stricter rules from Apr 14 as coronavirus cases keep surging across Bangladesh, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said on Friday.
He said the ongoing lockdown did not change the public attitude towards the pandemic.
“The government is actively considering another lockdown as the coronavirus situation has taken an alarming turn,” Quader said.