Dhaka, Apr 14 : The government has enforced a fresh strict lockdown for eight days from Wednesday in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.Under the fresh lockdown all government, semi-government, autonomous, private offices and financial institutions will remain closed but the officers and employees will have to stay in their respective work stations.
The Cabinet division issued a notification in this regard on Monday. The lockdown will remain in force from 6:00 am Wednesday (April 14) till April 21 midnight.
But the employees and staff of air, maritime and river and land ports will remain out of the preview of the lockdown.
All modes of public transports, including those of road, river, railway and air, will remain suspended during the lockdown. But Emergency services, carrying of goods, production services will remain out of the purview of the restriction.
However, the restriction will not be effective in the case of carrying goods, emergency services and production. But industries and factories will remain open on condition of maintaining health protocols.
The offices, staffers and vehicles of the organisations providing emergency services, including law enforcement, agricultural products (fertilizer, seeds, pesticides, machinaris), crops, food laden vehicles, relief distribution, health services, health workers involved in mass innoculation, power, water, gas, fire services, port activities, media (print and electronic media), private security mangement, telephone, and postal services will remain out of the purview of the restriction.
People’s movement will be restricted and no one will be allowed to go outside except for emergency needs (to purchase medicines, daily essentials, to take medical services and burial/ cremation of dead bodies, taking Covid-19 jabs etc).
Fatories, industries to operate
All industries and factories will be allowed to continue their operation following health guidelines and the respective industries must take measures to carry their employees in their own vehicles.
Hotels and restaurants to remain open
Hotels and restaurants can operate with takeaway/online services only from 12 pm to 7 pm and 12 am to 6 am. No one will be allowed to have food sitting in hotels or restaurants.
All shopping malls and markets will remain closed during this period.
Daily essential items including kitchen items can be sold and purchased from open spaces from 9 am to 3 pm to maintain health protocols. Local administrations and the authorities concerned will ensure it.
The government imposed an apparently lose nationwide lockdown for one week from April 5 as part of its tougher move to contain the spike in both coronavirus infections and fatalities.
But the government allowed the resumption of public transport in city corporation areas from April 7 as well as reopening shops and shopping malls for five days from April 9 in the face of protests against the lockdown.
The lockdown remained in force until April 13 (Tuesday).
Bank operation during lockdown
Changing the previous day’s decision on closure of banks, Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday took a fresh decision that banks will operate from 10 am to 1 pm for general transactions from April 14 to April 21 during the ‘all-out lockdown’ declared by the government.
The banks can remain open up to 2:30 pm for execution of other required activities, said a Bangladesh Bank circular, issued at 8 pm on Tuesday.
According to Police Headquarters, movement pass will be required to go out during lockdown in case of emergency.
Sixty-thousand applicants have registered for the movement pass until Tuesday evening and around 30,000 passes have been issued by 6:30pm, said sources at the Police Headquarters.
Inspector General of Police Benazir Ahmed inaugurated the movement pass app on Tuesday.
Taraweeh and prayers at Mosques
Maximum 20 people – including the imam, khatib, muezzin, hafez, khadem – can attend Taraweeh prayers at each mosque during Ramadan amid an upswing in Covid-19 cases and fresh nationwide restrictions.
The instruction will be valid from April 14 and continue until further notice, the Religious Affairs Ministry said in a new set of directives issued on Monday.
No more than 20 devotees will be able to join daily prayers in mosques. Also, the worshippers will have to follow health guidelines and ensure physical distancing while offering Friday prayers at mosques, the ministry said.
Local administrations, law enforcement agencies, Islamic Foundation officials, and the mosque management committees have been asked to implement the directives.
Covid situation in Bangladesh
The number of Covid-19 deaths in Bangladesh fell slightly in 24 hours till Tuesday morning, after registering a record breaking single-day death count for the past two days.
The country saw 83 Covid-related deaths on Monday and 78 on Sunday.
Now the fatalities from Covid-19 rose to 9,891 with the new deaths but the mortality rate remained static at 1.42 percent for the fourth consecutive day, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said in a handout.
The deadly virus claimed 568 lives in January this year, 281 in February and 638 in March, reports UNB.