‘As the incubation period of Covid-19 is 15 days, the lockdown should be enforced for at least two weeks’
Describing the move to impose a week-long lockdown as unscientific, experts have called for a shutdown for two weeks to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The national lockdown, imposed amid the persistent rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths, will be in force from 6am on Monday till 12 midnight on April 11, according to a gazette notification issued Sunday.
Earlier, the Health Ministry, after a discussion with the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, had sent necessary recommendations to the Prime Minister’s Office for ordering restrictions across the country to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Virologist Nazrul Islam, who sits on the advisory panel, said: “We recommended a restriction on movement and suggested imposing a lockdown for at least two weeks, not seven days.”
“The incubation period of Covid-19 [the time between exposure to the virus and symptom onset] is 15 days. So the lockdown should be for at least two weeks, better if three weeks,” the ex-VC of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University told Dhaka Tribune.
Several other members of the national Covid advisory panel echoed Islam.
State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said the government had opted for a week-long lockdown to rein in public movement considering the spike in coronavirus spread.
“A decision on extending the lockdown will depend on how the situation unfolds,” he added.
Meanwhile, public health expert Dr Lalin Choudhury said the people would have been better prepared if a two-week lockdown had been announced at once instead of waiting for a week.
Bangladesh has been witnessing a gradual increase in coronavirus cases since mid-March.
On March 28, the government issued an 18-point directive to control the spread of the infectious disease and eventually announced the 7-day lockdown on Sunday morning.