Bangladesh starts implementing week-long lockdown

By SM Najmus Sakib

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – With new cases and deaths hitting record numbers, Bangladesh began implementing on Wednesday a weeklong complete lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The virus claimed a record 96 lives in the past 24 hours, pushing the total to 9,987. As many as 5,185 new infections took the overall caseload to 703,170.

The government has ordered all transport, offices and shops to close until April 21, and all international and domestic flights have been halted with some exceptions.

People have been asked to stay home and a movement pass is required to step out in case of an emergency or official work such as getting tested or vaccinated for COVID-19, grocery shopping, or medicine purchase.

Emergency services and factories have been allowed to operate while maintaining strict health safety guidelines.

Tens of thousands of people struggled to get out of the capital Dhaka before the nationwide shutdown took effect.

The South Asian nation of 164 million people last imposed a nationwide shutdown for more than two months in March 2020.