Bangladesh to extend shutdown till May 30


Bangladesh is set to extend the nationwide shutdown for the seventh time as the country on Wednesday reported an alarming rise of COVID-19 cases with 1,162 new positive cases and 19 fatalities, the highest coronavirus deaths in a single day in the country.

Also read: COVID-19: Bangladesh Army says troops will be on streets until govt recalls

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given her nod to the proposed holiday extension until May 30, Junior Minister for Public Administration Ministry Farhad Hossain told media.

He said the official notification to extend the shutdown is likely to be issued on Thursday, simultaneously ordering stringent enforcement of health directives asking everyone in the Muslim-majority country to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr later this month staying indoors.

The holiday was set to be relaxed on May 16 but the rapid increase of the coronavirus cases prompted Bangladesh to revise the decision and extend the shutdown for the seventh time.

Bangladesh first declared a nationwide holiday from March 26 to April 4 while the country confirmed the first coronavirus death on March 18, ten days after the detection of the first three COVID-19 cases.

An official expert committee, meanwhile, predicted that coronavirus cases will increase further later this month and the situation will remain worse until late June.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) earlier Wednesday reported 19 deaths, including 12 from Dhaka, taking the death toll to 269.

During the period 1,162 have tested positive for COVID-19…as 7,900 samples were examined at 41 authorised laboratories across the country, additional DGHS chief Professor Nasima Sultana said at a media briefing.

She said the new positive cases too were highest in a single day, taking the number of COVID-19 cases to 17,822.

Around 3,361 patients have recovered so far.

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