Dhaka: Bangladesh plans to extend the nationwide shutdown until May 15 as Covid-19 claimed more lives, taking the total number of cases in the country to 10,929 and the fatalities to 183. 'The Prime Minister's Office is considering a proposal for an extended shutdown,” a PMO spokesman said, hours after junior minister for public administration Forhad Hossain said his office suggested the extension until May 15 to prevent further spread of the virus.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier ordered a comprehensive anti-Covid-19 campaign, amid steady rise of coronavirus cases in the country. The government initially declared a general holiday on March 26 for 10 days. Later, that was gradually extended till April 25 as the country kept seeing a rise in the number of cases and deaths from Covid. Bangladesh later extended the nationwide shutdown until May 5.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said the tally of infections has risen to 10,929 after more people tested positive. DGHS Additional Director General Professor Nasima Sultana said that Bangladesh was witnessing a rapid rise of coronavirus cases since March 24 as 10,929 people tested positive till now. The number of infection was only 6 until March 23.
She said the Covid-19 cases were found in 63 out of the country’s 64 administrative districts, Bangladesh confirmed the first coronavirus death on March 18, ten days after the detection of the first three cases. 'Among the Covid-19-infected cases, nearly 75 per cent patients are taking treatment from their homes, and many of them are being cured every day after receiving treatment,' Sultana said.
As of May 2, of the total fatalities, 95 deaths were recorded in Dhaka city and 39 in Narayanganj, the river port town on the outskirts of the capital. Dhaka is the worst-affected area with 54.73 per cent of Covid-19 cases. Sultana said the massive spread of the virus has prompted authorities to expand testing facilities across the country, engaging non-government organizations, universities, state-run research institutes and private hospitals.
Despite experts' warnings, Bangladesh has reopened hundreds of its garment factories this week after nearly one month of closures. The factory owners said they were operating with fewer workers than usual and following safety guidelines.