Government broadcasts sequence of latest restrictions to stem the unfold of the virus, together with a ban on some air travellers.
Dhaka, Bangladesh – Bangladesh has reported a record-high variety of daily COVID-19 infections as the federal government moved to ban flights from a number of international locations in an try to stem surging cases.
On Thursday, 6,469 folks had been identified with the illness within the previous 24 hours, bringing the South Asian nation’s cumulative caseload because the starting of the pandemic to 617,764.
The nation additionally reported 59 deaths, the very best daily determine since June 30 final 12 months when the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) reported 64 deaths from the coronavirus. A complete of 9,105 folks have died from COVID-19.
The variety of daily infections had began to say no in mid-December, reaching a low of 305 on February 6, however in mid-March, the variety of new infections started to rise.
Following the surge in COVID-19 cases, the federal government has imposed a brand new set of restrictions, together with a ban on all public gatherings in areas with high an infection charges.
It additionally mentioned that occupancy on public transport can be restricted at 50 % and motorcycle ride-sharing providers can be closed.
The South Asian nation on Thursday introduced it could ban air travellers from the European Union and 12 different international locations, together with Bahrain, Brazil, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, South Africa and Turkey. The two-week ban will come into impact from Saturday.
The nation’s Election Commission in the meantime has postponed elections for some union councils and municipalities which had been scheduled on April 11.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina informed the parliament on Thursday that the nation might have a partial lockdown just like one imposed throughout the nation’s first wave.
“We had been able to contain the virus but in the last few weeks, the COVID-19 cases are increasing all throughout the world. We have to be very careful,” she informed the parliament.
Vaccine rollout beneath approach
Bangladesh began its nationwide COVID-19 vaccination marketing campaign on February 7 and has administered greater than 5.5 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to this point.
Hasina mentioned that because the nation started its vaccination rollout, some folks grew to become much less cautious about taking precautions to cease the unfold of the virus.
“I cautioned it for a number of times that even if you get vaccinated, you should wear a mask and maintain social distancing. People seem to pay no heed to such warning,” she mentioned.
Virologist Mushtaq Hossain informed Al Jazeera that in contrast with different international locations just like the United States and Brazil, Bangladesh has not been hit onerous by the virus, which has led to folks underestimating its risks.
“This has led people to believe that the virus is not that dangerous,” he mentioned.
“People are now gathering in numbers in tourist destinations, and in weddings. When the virus first hit the country in last year, they frenetically emptied the shelves of the pharmacy and supermarkets to buy hand sanitisers. Now, they barely wash their hands,” mentioned Hossain, who’s an adviser on the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
Hossain mentioned he was alarmed that “most of the recent cases have been among young people, and many of them have had to be admitted to intensive care units (ICUs).”
Health Minister Zahid Malik warned that if the cases of the virus proceed to surge like this, “the hospitals will no longer be able to accommodate and treat patients.”
Hospitals in Bangladesh solely have a complete of 1,169 ICU beds for a inhabitants of some 160 million folks.
“We urge everyone to wear the masks and follow the health guidelines released by the government,” Malik mentioned.