Bangladesh: Thousands Stranded Ahead of Lockdown

muzzamil mehboobWeb Editor

28th Jun, 2021. 03:26 pm
Bangladesh: Thousands Stranded Ahead of Lockdown

Bangladesh is facing an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases. Thousands of people have been stranded in the capital city of Dhaka on Monday as authorities stopped all the transport after the lockdown was imposed.

119 deaths were reported by the country on Sunday, the highest death toll since the beginning of the pandemic, while the new number of infections is around 5,000 for the preceding few days.

Officials blame the recent surge in the case on the highly infectious coronavirus Delta variant that was first discovered in India.

The lockdown in Bangladesh will confine its population of 168 million to their houses by Thursday, with only the most essential services and some export-facing factories allowed to operate.

On Sunday, the announcement of the lockdown spurred an exodus of migrant workers from Dhaka to their hometowns, with tens of thousands of people crowding into ferries to cross a major river.

As the lockdown was imposed, thousands of workers were forced to walk to their offices, sometimes for hours, in the sweltering summer heat.

Several people were seen walking on the main roads early Monday.

Workplaces will be shut down from Wednesday.

Bicycle rickshaws were allowed but the prices have soared up to unaffordable levels.

“I started walking at 7 am. I could not get any bus or any other vehicles. I can’t afford a rickshaw ride,” Shefali Begum, 60, who was going to her daughter’s home in central Dhaka, told AFP.

Restrictions on activities and transports were imposed in mid-April as cases and death tolls surged to the highest levels since the start of the pandemic.

The cases declined in May but started to rise again this month, giving rise to more strict restrictions.

The country has reported 880,000 cases with over 14,000 deaths. But the experts say that the actual figures could be much higher due to underreporting.

The rapid spread of the Delta variety, which has already been confirmed by the WHO to have reached at least 85 nations, has frightened health experts throughout the world.

According to a recent study by the independent Dhaka-based International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, the Delta variant was responsible for more than two-thirds of new viral infections in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

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