Bangladesh imposes fresh lockdown amid Covid surge

Dhaka, Jun 25 (EFE).- Bangladesh authorities on Friday announced a fresh countrywide lockdown for at least a week, starting Monday, amid a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases.

Next week, all public and private offices will remain closed except those involved in providing emergency services, the government said in a statement.

Moreover, all vehicles, except those carrying goods or being used by medical purposes and ambulances, have been ordered to stay off the roads.

The announcement comes as the health authorities reported that in the past 24 hours 108 people had died of Covid and 5.869 fresh cases of the disease were reported.

This is the first time since Apr. 25 that Bangladesh has reported more than 100 daily deaths due to coronavirus, according to data provided by the Directorate General of Health Services.

The daily death toll is also the second highest in the densely populated country since the beginning of the pandemic, after the 112 deaths reported on Apr. 19.

A sizable number of the recent deaths have taken place in districts bordering India, which has recently come out of a devastating second wave of the pandemic.

Experts have blamed the fresh surge in cases and deaths in Bangladesh on the Delta variant of the virus, first detected in India, and the lack of adequate health services in remote areas of the country.

“Three factors contributed to so many deaths,” Nazrul Islam, a virologist and member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told EFE.

“Firstly, the number of cases rose in bordering areas, secondly many of those were infected by the Indian variants and thirdly we don’t have enough health facilities in remote areas.”

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