Tight lockdown starts today

A week-long strict lockdown begins today keeping all modes of transport, business activities and even public movement suspended when the holy month of Ramadan also starts.

Besides, the lockdown is being enforced on the 1st day of Bengali month of Baishakh. The celebration of the Bengali New Year has been suspended too. 

However, production in garment industries and activities of the mega projects will continue.

Earlier on Monday, the government issued a notification regarding the lockdown in a move to stop the Coronavirus spread.

As per the notification issued by the Cabinet division, the lockdown will remain in force from 6:00 am on Wednesday until 12:00 am on April 21.

During the lockdown, all modes of public transports, including those of road, river, railways and flights, will remain suspended.

But the offices related to air, maritime and river and land ports will remain out of the purview of the lockdown.

However, the restrictions will not be effective in the case of carrying goods, emergency services and production. But industries and factories will remain open on condition of maintaining health protocols. The respective factories or industries must take measures to carry their employees in their own vehicles.

The Bangladesh Supreme Court will issue separate notices on operating court activities.

The offices, staffers and vehicles of the organisations providing emergency services, including law enforcement, agricultural products (fertilizer, seeds, pesticides, machineries), crops, food laden vehicles, relief distribution, health services, health workers involved in mass inoculation, power, water, gas, fire services, port activities, media (print and electronic media), private security management, telephone, and postal services will remain out of the purview of the restriction.

Public movement will be restricted and no one will be allowed to go outside except for certain emergency (to purchase medicines, daily essentials, to take medical services and burial/ cremation of dead bodies, taking Covid-19 jabs etc).

Hotels and restaurants can operate from 12 pm to 7 pm and 12 am to 6 am with takeaway/online services only.

Shopping malls and markets will remain closed during this period. Daily essential items like kitchen items can be sold and purchased from open spaces from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm complying with health protocols. Local administration and the authorities concerned will ensure it.

The local administration concerned will take steps in a coordinated way for carrying agricultural workers for harvesting Boro paddy.

District and field administrations will take measures to enforce the directives in a coordinated way. Law enforcement agencies will strengthen patrol and take legal action against those who will violate the directives.

The Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) will take necessary steps to engage law enforcers and local administration on his behalf. 

The Religious Affairs Ministry will issue separate notices on performing Juma and Tarabih prayers in compliance with health guidelines.

The Ministry/Division concerned may issue supplementary directives for implementing the directives of the government.

Earlier, the government imposed an apparently loose lockdown for one week from April 5 as part of its tougher move to contain the spike in coronavirus infection.

But the government allowed the resumption of public transport services in city corporation areas from April 7 as well as reopening shops and shopping malls for five days from April 9 in the face of protests against the lockdown.