Movement curbs in 2 more districts
With a spike in Covid cases and deaths, two more districts -- Jamalpur and Dinajpur -- have imposed restrictions on vehicular and public movement to curb the spread of the virus.
The country yesterday recorded 3,050 Covid cases -- the highest in the last one and a half months -- and 54 deaths -- the highest in five weeks.
Amid fears of further rise in virus transmission, 11 districts have so far slapped restrictions to check the spread of Covid.
Apart from Jamalpur and Dinajpur, the curbs are in force in Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Natore, Kushtia, Chuadanga and Noakhali --either in parts or in the entire district.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the local administrations, public representatives and law enforcement agencies to enforce restrictions whenever necessary to curb virus infections.
She gave the directives at a cabinet meeting yesterday.
Later, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told reporters that the novel coronavirus is not spreading across the country at the same pace.
Directives have been issued to put under lockdown those areas where the infection rate is high.
"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the local administrations not to take any chances… They will enforce lockdown to prevent spread of the virus whenever they deem it necessary.
"We've already issued letters to this end…''
Asked whether the nationwide restrictions would be extended, the cabinet secretary avoided giving any answer.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the administering of the first dose of Covid vaccines will resume across the country on June 19.
RESTRICTIONS IN 2 DISTS
Dinajpur District Corona Transmission Prevention Committee decided to enforce strict restrictions on vehicular and public movement in Sadar upazila for a week from 6:00am today to contain the virus transmission.
Urging the residents to stay home during the period, Deputy Commissioner Khaled Mohammad Zaki said, "Vehicles including buses, battery-run three-wheelers, motorbikes, cars and microbuses will not be allowed on roads during the lockdown. Shops, markets and malls will also remain closed.
"Vehicles used for providing emergency services, however, will be out of the restrictions."
Kitchen markets will stay open for a couple of hours every day, he said.
In 24 hours till 8:00am yesterday, five Covid patients died in Dinajpur where the virus positivity rate was 38.04 percent on Monday, reports our correspondent in the district.
In Jamalpur municipality, restrictions on public movement were slapped from 6:00am yesterday and will be in force till June 30.
The Covid positivity rate in the district was 17.94 percent yesterday while the rate in the country was 14.80 percent.
Unlike Dinajpur, the local authorities in Jamalpur allowed vehicles to operate at half-capacity maintaining the health safety guidelines.
Shops and markets can be kept open from 6:00am to 6:00pm given that the duly follow the health safety protocol.
Our Jamalpur correspondent, however, reported that the restrictions on public movement were hardly enforced as people were seen gathering as usual in different parts of the town.
SITUATION IN KHULNA, RAJSHAHI DIVISION
The Covid situation has worsened further in Khulna and Rajshahi divisions as the positivity rate was above 30 percent in most of the districts in both the divisions, report our correspondents.
Yesterday, the positivity rate was 31.41 percent in Khulna, 47.31 percent in Satkhira, 31.48 percent in Kushtia, 36.27 percent in Meherpur and 66.07 percent in Chuadanga.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 13 Covid patients died in Rajshahi division and seven in Khulna division.
Among the eight divisions, Chattogram saw the highest deaths -- 14 -- followed by Dhaka -- 13.
According to the Covid Dynamic Facility Dashboard of the DGHS, bed occupancy was almost 100 percent in the government hospitals in Natore, Rajshahi, Kushtia, Jashore, Satkhira and Chapainawabganj.
Talking to journalists after an event in the capital, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said, "We will resume administering the first dose of Covid vaccines on June 19 with Sinopharm and Pfizer shots."
Bangladesh has already received 11 lakh Sinopharm vaccine shots from China as gift and 106,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine under the COVAX facility, a global vaccine-sharing initiative.
Those who have already registered for vaccine will get the shots, said officials.
On April 26, the health directorate halted administering the first dose due to a shortage of vaccines.
More than a week later, the administering of the second dose was also suspended at all the centres across the country.
So far, 58,20,015 people out of 72,48,829 registered for Covid vaccination have received the first jab, according to the DGHS.