As strict week long COVID lockdown begins, Bangladesh deploys army

Ordering the army and police to stop people from leaving their homes except for emergencies or purchasing essentials, Bangladesh has entered into a strict COVID-19 lockdown. While the lockdown begins on Thursday, during the shutdown, army troopers have been deployed to patrol alongside civilian forces.

Excluding the emergency services, offices and transportation shall be remained shut during the seven day lockdown, as per government order. A fine shall be imposed on anyone leaving home without reason and may also face arrest, as said by Dhaka’s police chief to the reporters.

An alarming and dangerous rise in the cases has been observed by the South Asian nation consisting of 168 million people and is blamed largely on the highly infectious Delta variant which was first identified in the neighbouring country India, as said by the government.

With thousands of people cramming onto dangerously packed ferries, the shutdown announcement last week had sparked an exodus of migrant workers from Dhaka. Although the actual toll could be much higher due to underreporting as mentioned by experts, over 14,500 virus deaths along with 9,00,000 infections have been reported by Bangladesh.

As per a recent study conducted by the independent Dhaka based International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, more than two-thirds of new virus cases in Dhaka are of the Delta variant. After the Delta variant entered the Bangladesh borders amid loosely imposed restrictions thereby worsening the situation, the decision to implement stricter lockdown was announced.

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