Dhaka – Released from jail two weeks ago, Bangladesh’s former prime minister and chief of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Khaleda Zia will still be in home quarantine for more time, her party said on Thursday.
She needs to be in isolation until the novel coronavirus situation is improved, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said.
“She is still very sick, her condition hasn’t improved much yet,” Alamgir said adding that her family will only be allowed to see her maintaining the social distancing guidelines.
The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her arch political rival, released Zia on March 26 from a prison cell of a Dhaka hospital suspending her sentences for six months. She was sent for a two-week quarantine initially.
The 74-year old politician – a diabetic who suffers chronic arthritis – was shifted to the hospital in April last year from the prison where she had been living since February 2018 after a court sentenced her to five years in jail – a term later doubled by a higher court – for misappropriating funds meant for orphans.
In 2019, she was also sentenced to seven years in jail over illegally raising money for a charity during her 2001-2006 tenure as prime minister.
During her release, the government imposed conditions that Zia would not be allowed to travel abroad and stay at home in Dhaka to take medical treatment.
Bangladesh has been in a nationwide transport lockdown alongside closure of non-essential public and private offices as well as schools to slow the novel coronavirus spread.
As of Thursday, health officials report 330 cases of novel coronavirus with 21 deaths in the South Asian country.