Bangladesh expands closure as cases reach new record


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On Monday, Bangladesh extended a strict national closure, confining people at home for another week as coronavirus cases and deaths hit new records.

Authorities said there was a record 164 people dead in the previous 24 hours, while nearly 1,000 tested positive, the only infection since the first case was detected in March last year.

Nazrul Islam, a senior virologist and member of a powerful national technical committee that called on the government to extend the closure, said the situation is “extremely bad.”

“The Delta variant is responsible for 70 percent of infections. This variant is highly transmissible. And we haven’t seen the peak yet,” he told AFP.

So far, Bangladesh has reported about 950,000 infections and more than 15,000 deaths, according to experts, are likely to be three to four times less than the number of actual cases and fatalities.

Under the closure imposed earlier this month, which now extends until July 14, Bangladesh’s 168 million people can only leave their homes for emergencies and buy commodities.

The army and police patrol the streets, there is no public transportation and shops and offices are closed. Food markets can open a few hours a day.

In the capital Dhaka, about 20 million people have been arrested by authorities for violating more than 2,000 people.

Garment factories, a key pillar of Bangladesh’s export-oriented economy, are exempt from closure.

The health department said about 50 per cent of the infections occur outside the cities, with districts bordering India, where the Delta variant originated for the first time, the most affected.

“The situation is getting worse every day. It looks like the lock is working. We are waiting for the file to be expanded it will improve the situation, “a health department spokesman told AFP.

An alarming rise in the virus causes a new blockade of Bangladesh

© 2021 AFP

Citation: Bangladesh expands lockout as cases reach new record (2021, July 5) recovered on July 6, 2021 at html

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