By SM Najmus Sakib
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Bangladesh on Monday imposed regional restrictions on movement to more districts as the deadly virus situation went out of control and started to create new hotspots outside the capital Dhaka.
The government has imposed a regional lockdown in the districts around Dhaka on June 22-30 with strict restrictions on people’s movement, except for emergency services, including the suspension of public transportation.
No activities, vehicles movement, except those used for emergency services and carrying goods, will be allowed on the streets in these districts, according to a statement issued by Cabinet Division Deputy Secretary Rezaul Islam.
During the lockdown period, all types of government, semi-government, and autonomous offices will also remain closed in these seven districts, said the statement.
Authorities have imposed lockdown to the districts surrounding Dhaka to ensure the capital’s safety amid the surging infections in those districts, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told reporters in Dhaka.
The movement to and from those districts to Dhaka will be strictly restricted, he added, saying any other district administration can impose a lockdown order if it wants, citing the respective region’s pandemic situation.
Earlier, authorities imposed such restrictions in the city of Khulna and districts bordering Rajshahi divisions citing the high number of cases and infection rate — as much as nearly 60%.
– Coronavirus situation
Bangladesh on Monday reported 78 deaths and 4,636 new infections taking the COVID-19-related casualties to 13,626 and caseload to 856,304, according to the Health Ministry.
The infection rate also continued to rise and stood at 19.27% on Monday, much higher than the WHO recommended rate of 5%.
Meanwhile, amid the alarming situation, Bangladesh health authorities resumed the mass inoculation with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines on Monday and Chinese Sinopharm vaccines on Saturday with only about 1.3 million vaccines in hand.
Only 3% of the population have been vaccinated, while 1.5 million people seem to be deprived of the second doses of AstraZeneca jabs as vaccine stocks run out due to the supply suspension from India under an official agreement.
Earlier, Bangladesh has extended the ongoing nationwide lockdown till July 15, which was in place since April 5, with some relaxations.
Bangladeshis are also being deprived of proper health care due to the shortage of beds in both public and private hospitals as less a seat is dedicated against 1,000 people.
The number of beds for every 1,000 people is only 0.32 in government hospitals, while 0.64 in private hospitals, and together the number of beds per 1,000 people is only 0.9 — far less than the 3.5 hospital beds recommended by the WHO. The latest information was disclosed by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics on Monday in Dhaka.