Bangladesh may lockdown vulnerable areas over virus


Bangladeshi children use hand sanitizer as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in a slum in Dhaka on March 19, 2020. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Bangladeshi children use hand sanitizer as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in a slum in Dhaka on March 19, 2020. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

BANGLADESH is planning to lockdown vulnerable areas of the country such as Madaripur and Faridpur if the coronavirus outbreak worsens, health minister Zahid Maleque said on Thursday (19).

The minister revealed this at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) in Mohakhali.

“During the period, all officials, nurses and doctors engaged in the health sector won’t be entitled to leaves,” the minister said.

There are 17 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country and all are either returnees from abroad or their relatives. The country has also declared one death due to the virus.

Over 5,000 people across the country were tested in the last 24 hours on suspicion of coronavirus infection, the minister said.

The Bangladesh government is trying to collect more than one lakh testing kits for coronavirus detection, he added.

He added that the government has already identified several hospitals in Dhaka to treat coronavirus patients and are also preparing 2,000 beds to mitigate the crisis.

“If the situations worsens, we will quarantine people and provide them necessary treatment at Ijtema grounds which will remain under the supervision of Bangladesh Army,” he said.

He urged expats not to come to Bangladesh for the time being, considering the greater interest of the country and their family members and asked people to abide by directions of IEDCR.

The minister also urged journalists not to publish exaggerated reports on coronavirus which may create panic among people.