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Bangladesh restricts public movement, businesses from Monday

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The government on Sunday slapped fresh restrictions on public movement and business operations, suspending operations of all modes of public transports across the country for a week from April 5 to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Cabinet Division issued an 11-point directive, banning operations of all public transports (road, river, rail and domestic flights) keeping goods transportation, production system and emergency services along with those going abroad or returning home from foreign countries outside the restrictions that comes into effect from 6:00pm on April 5.

No one would be allowed to move outside between 6:00pm to 6:00am without emergency and the restrictions would remain in force till 12:00 night on April 11, according to the order.

Kitchen markets and shops selling essential commodities would remain open from 8:00am to 4:00pm while restaurants would offer takeaway services.

All government and private offices would be able to do their essential works in a limited scale with their own transport facilities and operations of factories and construction activities would continue.

State minister for public administration Farhad Hossain told New Age that industries would remain open and employees would have to work in shifts following health guidelines.

The government move came after the Directorate General of Health Services in a meeting with experts on March 16 suggested that the government should impose a complete lockdown throughout the country to rein in the coronavirus situation as both COVID-19 infections and deaths are spiking again.

After the government announcement of a one-week ‘lockdown’, people on Saturday afternoon started leaving the capital by buses, launches and trains.

COVID-19 killed 58 more people while 5,683 tested positive for the disease across the country in 24 hours enduing 8:00am on Saturday.

With the new figures, the country has tallied 9,213 COVID-19 deaths and 6,30,277 cases, said the Directorate General of Health Services.  The daily cases of COVID-19 hit record 6,830 on Friday.

Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office on March 29 issued 18-point directives restricting public gatherings, including social, political and religious programmes.

The government earlier on March 23, 2020 for the first time announced a 10-day general holiday from March 26, 2020 after the first cases of COVID-19 had been detected on March 8, 2020, restricting public movement and operations of businesses across the country. The holiday had been extended for sixth time till May 30, 2020.

All educational institutions have remained closed since March 18, 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.