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Bangladesh extends coronavirus lockdown for another week

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BANGLADESH is to extend the nationwide lockdown for yet another week to counter the spike in coronavirus infections, an official said on Monday.

The decision came from a meeting of secretaries chaired by Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islamin Dhaka on Monday.

 “It has been decided to extend the ongoing lockdown from April 22 to 28. A proposal has been sent to the prime minister for her approval, following which a gazette notification will be issued,” said State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain.

The move comes in line with the recommendation of the national advisory panel, he said, before adding that it would “break the current chain of infection transmission.”

At a meeting on Sunday, the Covid-19 National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) recommended extending the lockdown by a week to stem the spread of the deadly virus in the country.

Amid the resurgence in infections and deaths, the NTAC had recommended a complete lockdown for at least two weeks. The government has already implemented a weeklong lockdown from April 14.

It suggested reviewing the infection rate before ending the lockdown. A plan should be designed to lift the lockdown gradually, the panel said in a statement sent to the media on Monday.

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.

It 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.

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