Bangladesh extends transport shutdown to Apr 11

The government has extended the transport shutdown to Apr 11 as coronavirus cases continued to rise in Bangladesh.

Published : 4 April 2020, 08:27 AM
Updated : 4 April 2020, 12:15 PM

The decision was announced in a notice issued by the Road Transport and Highways Division on Saturday.

Vehicles used for emergency services, such as goods, fuel, medicines and aid delivery, have been exempted from the restrictions, but they are not allowed to carry passengers, according to the notice.

Addressing the development, Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader said: "The government had previously announced a transport shutdown from Mar 26 to Apr 4. The government has since extended the lockdown to Apr 11. We request that all vehicles throughout the country be kept off the roads until Apr 11 in the public interest."

Bangladesh announced a nationwide shutdown of all offices and workplaces while suspending the public transport system and passenger flights in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The lockdown was initially set to be effective from Mar 26 to Apr 4. Later, the government issued an order extending the shutdown until Apr 9, merging it with the following two-day weekend. According to the order, certain transportation modes, including bus and rail services, along with rickshaws and vans would be allowed to operate on a limited scale.

But the lockdown will now apply to all forms of transportation until Apr 11, Quader said on Saturday.

"This crisis affects us all. We have to abide by the prime minister's instructions. Public transport will remain shut until Apr 11. Any further decision in this regard will be announced later.”

But during the lockdown, people will now be able to renew the fitness certificates for vehicles and driving licences until June 31without any penalty, the minister added.