As COVID-19 fatalities remain still high, Bangladesh has decided to extend the ongoing lockdown by another week.
The decision in this regard was made in line with suggestions by public health experts and considering the global COVID-19 situation, underlined State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said on 26 April.
It may be mentioned here that a sudden spurt in Coronavirus infections and deaths prompted the Government to initially issue an 18-point directive on 29 March, and then go for a weeklong lockdown from 5 April. But as it failed to achieve the expected results, the Government decided to enforce a ‘strict lockdown’ from 14-21 April, which was later extended until 28 April.
During the lockdown, amid the growing demand, the Cabinet Division issued a notice on last Friday, allowing shops and shopping malls to open for business from 25 April (Sunday) on the condition that they would maintain proper safety protocols even if in another significant development, Bangladesh has also sealed its border with India for the next two weeks to limit Covid-19 transmission from the neighbouring country even if it allowed continuation of trade through the borders.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the highly infectious Indian variants of Sars-CoV-2, the Coronavirus that causes COVID-19, must be prevented from entering Bangladesh to tackle an inevitable disaster.
However, notwithstanding the lockdown, the readymade garment sector of the country, which is considered the lifeline of Bangladesh’s economy, has been allowed to operate but after maintaining the necessary health and safety guidelines. This has however raised questions as to the rationale behind the move as some believe keeping workplaces operating, runs risk of exposing the garment workers to contracting the dreaded virus.