Bangladesh army patrols streets in strict coronavirus lockdown – News Vibe24

    Bangladesh army patrols streets in strict coronavirus lockdown - Times of India
    Dhaka: Bangladeshi army and police patrolled empty streets on Thursday as a week-long Covid-19 lockout began, with people confined to their homes except for emergencies and buying essentials.
    The government said the nation of South Asia, with 168 million people, was seeing an “alarming and dangerous” increase in cases, largely blaming the highly contagious Delta variant.
    Hospitals are struggling, especially in areas bordering India where the strain was first identified. Some rural cities have recorded 70% infection rates.
    On the first day of the week, the normally busy streets of Dhaka were abandoned as soldiers in military tax patrols set up checkpoints.
    The Dhaka police chief told reporters that anyone leaving the house for no good reason would be fined and could face arrest.
    “If we have to make 5,000 cases and arrests a day, we will do it,” said Shafiqul Islam.
    The closure announcement last week sparked an exodus of migrant workers from Dhaka, with thousands flooding dangerously loaded ships across the delta nation.
    “We hope these tough measures will work. We must curb the virus at all costs,” Health Ministry spokesman Robin Amin told AFP.
    But Sagar, an 18-year-old street vendor in Dhaka, was angry.
    “The government is imposing the lock just to kill the poor. There will be no work for us, no help from anyone,” he told AFP.
    All offices and shops were closed with only local food markets allowed to open for a few hours a day.
    Excludes garment factories that supply western giants such as H&M and Walmart. The sector is a key pillar of the Bangladeshi economy.
    Stock markets and commercial banks can also operate for a few hours a day.
    Touhidul Islam Chowdhury, who owns a small loan recovery company, said the closure would have to be “strictly enforced”.
    “A lot of people are dying and getting infected,” he told AFP. “The army should have been deployed much earlier.”
    Bangladesh has reported nearly 900,000 infections and just over 14,500 virus deaths, but experts say the actual rates could be much higher due to insufficient reporting.
    More than two-thirds of new cases in Dhaka are of the Delta variant, according to a recent study by the Dhaka-based International Diarrheal Research Center.
    In contrast to the previous two waves, the rural heart where more than 60 percent of the population has been affected, with reports that the local cemeteries are shocked.
    In the Satkhira area in the southwest, authorities are investigating media reports that seven patients with coronavirus died after being depleted of oxygen from a hospital, local official Humayun Kabir told AFP.
    Health officials, meanwhile, have said they will continue to vaccinate the country from Thursday.
    Television videos showed hundreds of people flocking to a top hospital in Dhaka for the vaccine.
    The first phase stopped after India stopped exporting AstraZeneca vaccines earlier this year to focus on its own needs.
    Bangladesh is expected to receive the first shipment of 2.5 million Moderna vaccines promised by the United States this weekend.
    A Chinese embassy official said Beijing was also sending about two million doses of Sinopharm vaccine bought by Dhaka, adding to the 1.1 million shots already donated by China.


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