The government decided to enforce an all-out lockdown for one week starting from April 14
The Covid-19 National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) has recommended a two-week lockdown to control the spread of the deadly virus in the country.
The committee made the recommendation at its virtual meeting, headed by its Chairman Prof Md Sahidullah, on Wednesday night, said a press release on Friday.
The meeting also concluded that although the Prime Minister’s Office had issued 18 directives to stop the spread of the virus, along with few other health guidelines issued by the Cabinet Division, the number of Covid-19 cases continued to rise due to lax implementation of these directives.
Expressing hope the DNCC Covid hospital will start operating from next week, the committee also urged the government to quickly increase capacity of public hospitals in order to tackle the rising pressure of new patients.
The committee also proposed the inclusion of private testing laboratories to decrease the pressure on government labs in testing Covid-19 samples.
To ensure a successful vaccination program and smooth supply of vaccines in Bangladesh, the committee also recommended the formulation of a specific policy to allow import of vaccines through the private sector.
Meanwhile, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the government is now considering options to enforce an all-out lockdown for one week.
Hours after Obaidul Quader’s remarks, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain announced that Bangladesh will go into a week-long hard lockdown starting from April 14.
He said during this lockdown, all government and private offices, industries - inlcuding the RMG industry - and transport services will remain suspended.
Only the emergency services will remain open during the hard lockdown.
The country is already under a week-long lockdown since Monday, aimed at curbing the sharp rise of Covid-19 deaths and infections as the country is going throught the second wave of the pandemic.
The government issued an 11-point directive restricting public movement across the country for the lockdown, effective from April 5 to 11.
However, shopping malls and markets have been reopened in Dhaka amid the lockdown, in face of protests from shop owners and employees, and public transport has been reinstated in limited capacity following demands from office goers.
On Friday, Bangladesh registered 7,462 new Covid-19 cases and 63 deaths in 24 hours.
The country also recorded the highest number of single day Covid-19 deaths – 74 – on Thursday while logged the highest ever number of new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours – 7, 626 – on Wednesday.