IMAGE: PTI/Representative Image
After battling one of its worst waves of COVID-19, Bangladesh is set to lift the statewide lockdown completely owing to the significant drop in the cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant. The Southeast Asian country plans to scrap the ban on the non-essential movement instated on the citizens and the transportation effective August 11, Bangladesh's Cabinet Division announced in a circular obtained by news agency ANI.
The Bangladesh government issued orders for all private workplaces to resume business as usual in accordance with the health safety guidelines. Public transport such as the railway and buses were allowed to run at full capacity although just 50% of vehicles were permitted to operate in view of the downward trajectory of the rate of COVID-19 transmission.
Bangladesh’s government had enforced strict lockdown on July 1 due to the coronavirus resurgence that had put immense pressure on the healthcare system. The restrictions were applicable through July 14. Due to several localized instances of the COVID-19 outbreak, Bangladesh reinstated the lockdown that it had eased on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha festival. In an attempt to curb the rising infections, a lockdown from July 23 to Aug. 5 was imposed countrywide.
Just last week, the Bangladeshi government extended the lockdown until Aug 10 to further slow down the spread. As the country's Directorate General of Health Services on Sunday registered 10,299 new cases of COVID-19, the Bangladeshi government announced that it would lift the weeks-long restrictions citing the downward trend of the cases. However, the country recorded 241 new COVID-related fatalities that pushed the total death toll to 22,652.
Earlier last month, Bangladesh had battled a crucial situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein the country had almost run out of hospitals. Bangladesh Health Minister Zahid Maleque had made a statement in the press saying that the rising coronavirus hospital admissions make the situation look so bad that soon “there will be no place left in hospitals.”
The Daily Star newspaper reported that the Bangladeshi Health Minister made humble appeals to the citizens to adhere to the lockdown to stem the explosive outbreak that had stretched the healthcare system. “We do not want the number of patients to increase,” Bangladesh’s Health Minister told the press, adding that to reduce the number of patients, the country had to reduce the infection spread by being compliant to the measures.