Curbs in more bordering areas
As the Covid-19 positivity rate rose to 14.27 percent yesterday, restrictions, including lockdown, were imposed in more areas of the country's border districts to slow down transmission.
Fifty more people died of Covid-19 in 24 hours preceding 8:00am yesterday, taking the official death toll to 13,222. The death rate stood at 1.59 percent, said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Another 3,319 infections were recorded in the same period. With this, the caseload reached 8,33,291 in the country. The overall positive rate is now 13.4 percent, said the DGHS.
The Covid-19 situation in the border districts has been worse than that of other districts. Hospitals in those border districts are grappling with an increased number of coronavirus patients for the past several days. In the meantime, major hospitals there are having a shortage of frontline doctors and nurses.
The authorities have imposed restrictions and lockdowns in various areas of the districts to tackle the deteriorating situation.
Such measures continued yesterday.
The authorities locked down the entire Damarhuda upazila of Chuadanga. Earlier, only certain villages and unions of the upazila were under lockdown.
On June 2 and June 6, the restriction was imposed on several villages of Karpasdanga union, Kurulgachhi union and Parkrishnapur-Madna union of the district.
Chuadanga Deputy Commissioner Nazrul Islam told The Daily Star that they would be setting temporary camps to test Covid samples in areas with high infection rates.
He said the movement of all vehicles, except those of emergency services, would remain halted until further notice.
"Those who test positive will have groceries and essentials delivered to their doorsteps so that they can quarantine themselves," he added.
It was also through this district that 16 more Bangladeshis, who got stuck in India due to a travel embargo, returned home.
Sub-inspector Abdul Alim, immigration in-charge of Darshana Joynagar check-point, said 16 Bangladeshis crossed the Darshana border with no objection certificates (NOCs) from the Bangladesh mission in Kolkata.
In the last 28 days, 838 Bangladeshis returned from India through the Darshana check-point, reports our Kushtia correspondent, quoting Abdul Alim as saying.
Additional Deputy Commissioner and Convener of Coronavirus Control and Prevention Sub-Committee Monira Parveen said following formalities by the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), the Immigration Branch, and the Customs Department of the police, the Bangladeshis were sent for 14-day mandatory institutional quarantine.
Monira also said the health department conducted rapid antigen tests on all of them at the check post. No one tested positive.
Up north in Kurigram, the authorities imposed a seven-day restriction on movement in three wards under Kurigram municipality, beginning yesterday noon.
Mohammad Rezaul Karim, deputy commissioner of Kurigram, said, "We are currently taking measures to check public gatherings and movement of people in wards 2, 3 and 7 of the municipality areas. The restriction will be effective for the next seven days. Even then, if the infection is not curbed, we will go for a stricter lockdown."
The DC said all shops, except the drug and food stores, will be closed.
Restrictions on the movement of motorcycles and auto-rickshaws will be enforced in Zia Bazar and Municipal Bazar areas so that there is less gathering of people, he said.
DC Rezaul Karim said mobile courts would conduct drives in this regard.
Three border-adjacent villages of Meherpur's Gangni and Mujibnagar upazilas were also put under a 14-day lockdown yesterday. Sixteen of the 26 people who died of Covid-19 in Meherpur district were from these two upazilas.
Meherpur Civil Surgeon Dr Nasir Uddin said many of the people of Hinda and Tetulbaria villages were showing Covid symptoms, but hardly anyone was getting tested.
Several villages of these upazilas, such as Nabinnagar, Shikarpur, Tajpur, Karimpur and Dhara, are along the border. In certain parts of the border, fields, land and ponds are shared by citizens of both India and Bangladesh. Many often cultivate the same lands.
Every single day, Indian citizens cross over to Bangladesh to till their lands.
Meherpur's DC Mansur Alam Khan said during the lockdown, no outsiders would be allowed into these villages.
Hakimpur upazila in Dinajpur also enforced a seven-day lockdown from yesterday. Dinajpur Sadar upazila is already under lockdown, but our correspondent reported that there was a massive presence of battery-run three-wheelers and motorcycles on the roads. Shops and shopping malls, however, remained closed.
To deal with the coronavirus situation, the ongoing lockdown in Natore has been extended for seven more days, until June 22.
Apart from these, the curbs are in force in Jamalpur, Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Kushtia, Chuadanga and Noakhali -- either in parts or in the entire district.