The government will issue a circular tomorrow on extending the ongoing countrywide "lockdown" till May 23 in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19, state minister for public administration Farhad Hossain, said.
Talking to The Daily Star, the junior minister also said the government is likely to issue another circular soon aimed at giving power to police only to ensure that people wear mask.
"The ongoing duration of lockdown will end tomorrow. The government is going to increase the duration of lockdown for another week up to May 23. The public administration ministry will issue a circular in this regard on May 16," he said.
On giving power to police, Farhad said: "Discussion is going on how to give the power to police as law will have to be amended in this regard."
He also said once the matter is finalised, President Abdul Hamid is likely to promulgate an ordinance to make the law effective.
"After opening up shops, markets and all other things, we have to ensure that people wear masks at all places including upazila, zila and municipality areas to contain the spread of Covid-19 infection," the state minister said.
"Without ensuring masks at all levels, we won't be able to contain Covid-19."
Farhad also said "We can conduct mobile court under the existing law. But if we give police the power, they will be able to carry out their job [ensure that people are wearing mask] smoothly."
The state minister said they fear Covid-19 infection may increase after May 23 due to people indiscriminately going to markets, visiting their village homes without wearing masks and presence of Indian variant of Covid-19.