Bangladesh extends lockdown till May 23

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Dhaka, May 16 (PTI) Bangladesh on Sunday extended ongoing nationwide lockdown till May 23 to contain the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh clamped a week-long nationwide lockdown on April 5, suspending public transport and shutting markets to combat the surge in coronavirus cases in the country. The restrictions were later extended till April 28, then till May 5 and then till May 16.

'Lockdown restrictions are extended from May 16 in light of the current state of the pandemic,' the Cabinet Division said in a notice on Sunday.

All offices and organisations related to revenue collection have been included under emergency services, which will be out of the purview of the restrictions, the Daily Star newspaper reported.

Besides, shops that sell food items, hotels and restaurants will only be allowed to provide takeaway or online services during the period, the circular said.

Meanwhile, Eid holidaymakers have started to return to the capital Dhaka defying coronavirus restrictions.

The authorities had ordered the employees of government, semi-government, autonomous and private organisations, banks and non-bank financial institutions not to leave stations during Eid holidays ending on Sunday.

The government had eased the lockdown restrictions during Eid but kept long-haul passenger transport services on hold mainly to stop the outbreak from spreading to rural areas.

Health officials on Sunday reported 25 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the country’s toll to 12,149. At least 363 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of people infected with the virus to 780,159.

Another 601 people recovered from the illness through treatment at home and in hospital care, bringing the tally of recoveries to 722,036.

Only 5,430 samples, among the lowest collections since the outbreak of the disease in March 2020, were tested across the country in the last 24 hours, yielding a positivity rate of 6.69 per cent. PTI ZH ZH