Countrywide shutdown underway

A nationwide 10-day holiday in Bangladesh amid the shutdown of movement of all kinds of transports and workplaces begins today (Thursday) and continues up to April 4, due to the coronavirus outbreak worldwide. The government authorities on Monday (March 23) declared the countrywide lockdown through an announcement of public holidays.

As part of a cautionary measure, besides hospitals, media houses and other emergency services, all the government, non-government and private organisations will remain shut during the period. Movement of all public and private transports on roads, water ways, air and railways will also remain stopped.

Besides, the government also deployed army personnel to keep public gatherings limited and check mass transport movement as part of the measures to check the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. The public holidays will apply to offices and establishments excluding those providing emergency services.

The government earlier also had imposed bans on any kind of mass gatherings like social, political and religious functions due to the prevailing situation. In coordination with the district magistrates, the army personnel are monitoring the mandatory home quarantine of all those returning from foreign countries and others concerned and the treatment of the COVID-19 patients and suspects.

The Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate in a release later in the day said that the army, navy and air force would remain deployed in aid of the civil administration in divisional cities and district towns considering the possible spread of the coronavirus, which is now a pandemic.

The navy would assist the civil administration in coastal areas while the air force would remain engaged in the supply of essential medical equipment and in emergency transportation, said the release. It should be mentioned that so far five people died of coronavirus infection till Wednesday although no coronavirus case was detected in the last 24 hours while the number of infected people in the country is now 27. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina delivered a speech to the nation on the prevailing situation in the country as well as worldwide.