Experts call for two-week Bangladesh-wide total shutdown to curb COVID spread

The National Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 has recommended the enforcement of a full lockdown for two weeks nationwide in a bid to rein in coronavirus cases in Bangladesh.

Published : 24 June 2021, 03:29 PM
Updated : 24 June 2021, 03:29 PM

The committee called for the shutdown of all activities, including public transport services, offices and courts, except for emergency services.

In a statement on Thursday, the committee's President Prof Mohammod Shahidullah said the community transmission of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, originating in India, has led to the surge in COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh.

The experts also cast doubts on the effectiveness of staggered lockdown measures.

"Judging by the experience of other countries, especially neighbouring India, transmission cannot be stopped without strict measures.

“Talks have also been held with top experts in India. In their opinion, the infection rate has been controlled in places where a full shutdown has been enforced.

"In order to prevent the spread of the disease and to prevent more losses of life, the committee is unanimously recommending a complete shutdown of at least 14 days across the country.”

The patient load in Mohakhali’s DNCC COVID-19 hospital is much higher now than it was a few weeks ago. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

The health system will become overwhelmed regardless unless strict measures are taken immediately, it warned.

On Thursday, Bangladesh recorded 6,058 new COVID-19 cases, the most since Apr 12, taking the total tally of infections to 872,935.

The death toll rose by 81 to 13,868, according to the latest government data.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher