7-day nationwide lockdown in Bangladesh from Monday amid spike in Covid-19 cases

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Bangladesh reported 6,830 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, the highest count in a day, taking the tally of infections to 624,594. (Reuters)

The Bangladesh government on Saturday announced a week-long nationwide lockdown, starting Monday, as Covid-19 cases and deaths are on the rise in the country.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader made the announcement at a regular briefing from his official residence on Saturday morning.

“The government is going to enforce a nationwide lockdown from Monday initially for a week as the spread of coronavirus increases,” Quader, also the general secretary of the ruling Awami League, was quoted as saying by PTI.

“Every office and court will be closed during this lockdown, but industries and mills will continue their operation on rotation,” State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said in a separate briefing.

On being asked why industries and mills will not closed, Hossain said, “If we close the mills then the workers may have to leave their workstations and head for home.” He also added detailed instructions regarding the lockdown will be announced soon.

Bangladesh recorded the highest ever seven-day moving average of daily deaths from the novel coronavirus 46.43 since the pandemic broke out in March last year.

According to the latest figures released by the authorities on Friday, the country reported 50 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the tally of fatalities to 9,155. Bangladesh reported 6,830 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, the highest count in a day, taking the tally of infections to 624,594.

The highest seven-day moving average of deaths during the pandemic was 44.86 on July 5 last year.

Alarmingly, the seven-day moving average of fatalities was below 10 on March 11 and continued to rise since then. Besides, Friday’s Covid positivity rate 23.28 per cent is the highest recorded in the last seven months.

It was August 6 last year when the country had recorded a higher infection rate 23.43 per cent.

The overall infection rate of the country stands at 13.21 per cent.

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