Thousands scramble to get the last trains, buses and ferries before a nationwide transport shutdown takes hold.
Bangladesh has decided to extend the nationwide lockdown for yet another week to counter the spike in coronavirus infections, an official said on Monday.
“The restrictions will continue for one more week from Thursday,” the government’s Chief Information Officer Surodh Kumar Sarker told reporters, referring to a senior officials’ meeting that reviewed the latest COVID-19 situation.
Given the surge in new infections and deaths from the virus, the government on April 5 enforced a nine-day lockdown shutting offices, shopping malls and transport across Bangladesh.
The shutdown was then extended until Wednesday as the situation worsened.
Bangladesh saw the highest single-day increase in infections on April 9, with 7,462 new cases, and the highest daily death toll, 102, on Sunday.
Some 781,950 coronavirus cases and 10,385 deaths have been reported so far in Bangladesh, which previously imposed a nationwide shutdown for more than two months, from March 26, 2020, until May.
A country of more than 160 million, Bangladesh’s embattled healthcare system has carried out 5.1 million virus tests since the first cases of COVID-19 emerged in March last year.
A makeshift 1,000-bed hospital – the biggest virus facility in the nation – that was built in place of a wholesale market was opened on Sunday to ease pressure on the overburdened healthcare system.