The government has declared a general holiday in more than 40 areas (including separate wards) in five more districts of the country identified as 'red zones' due to high corona virus infection risks.
The ministry concerned issued a gazette notification announcing general holiday in the red zones on Monday. The districts are -- Faridpur, Manikganj, Brahmanbaria, Narsingdi and Kushtia. The general holiday will be effective in those areas from June 23.
The general holiday will be applicable to the officials and employees working at all the government, semi-government, autonomous, semi-autonomous, statutory and non-government offices as well as organizations in these areas.
The emergency utility services will remain out of the purview of the holiday, the gazette notification said.
Earlier, on Sunday night, the Public Administration Ministry issued a gazette notification announcing general holiday in the red zones in 10 districts. The districts are Chattogram, Bogura, Chuadanga, Moulvibazar, Narayanganj, Hobiganj, Munshiganj, Cumilla, Jashore and Madaripur.
According to the gazette notification, in Faridpur, all wards of the Bhanga municipality have come under red zone. The red zone was declared in the area on June 16 and it would be effective for twenty-one days. The general holiday will remain in the area from June 23 to July 7.
In Manikganj, Uttar Seuta, Gangadhor Patti and PoshchimDashra areas of Manikganj municipality, Saturia union and Dhakura union of Saturiaupazila and Singair municipality and Joymontop union of Singairupazila have come under red zone. The red zone was declared in the areas on June 13 and it would be effective from 8pm on June 15 to July 4. The general holiday will remain in the area from June 23 to July 4.
In Brahmanbaria, Paikpara and Kalaisripara of ward-8, Maddhyapara of ward -5 and Kazipara ward -8 in Brahmanbaria municipality, Haspatal para and Pashchimpara of ward-2, TNT para of ward-2, haspatal para and college para of ward 4 and BholachangDaspara of ward -8 in Nabinagar municipality and Araibari of ward-4, Shitalpara of ward -5 Shaha para of ward – 7 in Kasba municipality have come under the red zone.
The red zone was declared in the area on June 13 and it would be effective for twenty-one days. The general holiday will remain in the areas from June 23 to July 4.
In Narsingdi, ward no 4 and 5 (uttarBirampur and DakkhinBirampur) of the Madhabdi municipality have been declared red zone on June 11. It would remain effective for twenty-one days. The general holiday will remain in the areas from June 23 to July 2.
In Kushtia, ward no 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 15, 18 and 20 of Kushtia municipality, Bahirchar and Chandgram unions of Bheramaraupazila and ward no 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of Bheramara municipality have been declared red zone on June 16. It would remain effective for twenty-one days. The general holiday will remain in the areas from June 23 to July 7.
The employees of all government, semi-government, autocratic, semi autocratic, constitutional and all private offices that located in the red zone areas will enjoy the holiday. Besides, the employees who reside in the red zone areas but work outside will also get the holiday.
However, all emergency services will be out of the purview of the restrictions, read the notification.
However, with the exception of the highly infected capital Dhaka and several other areas, questions have been raised about the lockdown in low-risk areas from the outset.
According to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), the current infection rate is 20.94 percent, and the total number of infections in the country stands at 1,19,198 till Tuesday.
Meanwhile, 15 districts of the country have been declared red zones where the authorities have already enforced lockdown.
Public health experts have questioned the effectiveness of enforcing lockdowns in relatively low-risk areas, excluding high-risk areas.
In their opinion, lockdown should be given in high risk areas to prevent the spread of corona virus. Other areas need to be brought under this program in phases. They expressed surprise at the earlier decision to enforce lockdown in relatively low infected areas.