Covid-19: Bangladesh extends 'strict lockdown' for another week
Hospitals are overwhelmed with Covid patients, particularly in districts bordering India where the Delta variant was first identified.
The Bangladesh government has extended the nationwide "strict lockdown" imposed against the Covid-19 pandemic for seven more days until July 14.
The country's Cabinet Division made the announcement in a circular issued on Monday, reports Xinhua news agency.
To combat the pandemic, Bangladesh declared the seven-day lockdown effective from July 1 with "strict measures".
The Cabinet Division in its latest order said all existing restrictions were extended in consideration of the current state of the pandemic which continued unabated in the country.
Earlier on Monday, Bangladesh reported its highest spike of 9,964 new Covid-19 cases and 164 fatalities, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The figures were the highest single-day spikes since the onset of the pandemic in the country on March 8, 2020, bringing the infection tally to 954,881 and the death toll to 15,229.
According to the official data, the fatality rate in Bangladesh is now 1.59 per cent and the current recovery rate fell to 87.87 per cent.
Hospitals are overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, particularly in districts bordering India where the Delta variant was first identified. Bangladesh sealed its border with India in April, but trade continues.
A surge in cases had prompted the government to order a week of tight controls on Thursday, with army troops patrolling streets. The shutdown has sparked an exodus of migrant workers from the capital Dhaka to home villages.
Factories are allowed to operate observing health protocols while all offices and transportation remain shut expect essential goods carriers and ambulances.
Some workers are finding it difficult to survive without any income coming in.
"During the lockdown, there is no work. If this continues, I don't know how I feed my family," said Mohammad Manik, father of two, who works as a day labourer at a kitchen market in Dhaka.
"It is not the coronavirus but hunger that will kill us."
Bangladesh received 2.5 million doses of Moderna Inc's vaccine from the United States under the Covax global-sharing scheme over the weekend. It also received two million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China.
Bangladesh's vaccination drive suffered a blow after India stopped exports of the AstraZeneca shot in response to a record surge in domestic infections, with only 3 per cent its population of 170 million so far receiving the required two doses.
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