People queueing up for a test for COVID-19 at a hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on May 3, 2020.
People queueing up for a test for COVID-19 at a hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on May 3, 2020. |Xinhua/IANS
International

Bangladesh won't extend COVID-19 shutdown

IANS

Dhaka, May 28, 2020

The Bangladesh government has decided not to extend the ongoing shutdown over the coronavirus pandemic, allowing offices to reopen on May 31, the media reported.

Offices and other workplaces will be allowed to operate on a limited scale until June 15, subject to their compliance with several health and hygiene directives, bdnews24 quoted State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain as saying on Wednesday.

"The lockdown won't be extended. Economic activities will resume on a limited scale. At the same time, people must follow all the health directives to ensure their safety," he said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the decisions and an official order will be issued on Thursday, Hossain said.

"We are not opening everything, but on a limited scale," he added.

The elderly, those suffering from any disease and pregnant women will not be allowed into the offices.

The lockdown described as a general holiday by the government along with a transport shutdown started on March 26 after the first COVID-19 cases and deaths were reported in the country.

It is now ending after 66 days.

The COVID-19 caseload topped 38,000 and the death toll neared 550.

The government allowed the readymade garment factories to reopen and eased some other restrictions by the end of April when the number of patients and deaths began to increase, reports bdnews24.

The public transport system and educational institutions, however, will remain closed as the government has not made a decision about them.

In her address to the nation on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr three days ago, Hasina had also hinted at reopening.

"Life cannot remain at a standstill. We may have to live with the coronavirus at least until a vaccine is developed. But the economy must be restarted for the sake of our livelihoods."

IANS

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