by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka;
Bangladesh has reported 7,075 new cases of novel coronavirus as a seven-day nationwide lockdown began to slow the spread of the deadly virus, officials said on Monday.
With the fresh infections reported in the last 24 hours, the total number of Covid-19 cases stand at 644,439. Some 52 people were reportedly died of the virus during the period, bringing the fatality toll to 9,318 so far, according to a health ministry statement.
As the number of new cases were reportedly rising, the government on Saturday decided to impose a nationwide lockdown from Monday. It also issued an 11-point directives including one asking people to stay indoors and not to venture outdoors unless it is very urgent.
But on the first day, many people were seen defied the directives.
Groups of small traders staged demonstrations in downtown Dhaka asking the government to allow them to keep their businesses open. They said they will maintain proper health guidelines to keep their units operating as like that the mills and factories that the government decided to remain open.
Long-haul busies, railway transports and domestic flights were suspended on Monday. The river transport system was also shut.
But, people in Dhaka were seen struggling to find means to reach to their respective offices. They used three-wheeler rickshaws, auto-rickshaws or private vehicles to travel from one place to the other in absence of public transports.
Major shopping malls remained close but shops located on the lanes and by-lanes were seen frequented by people.
Law enforcement agencies were seen using mega phone to make the people aware on the streets. They asked the people to follow the health regulations.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the weekly meeting of the cabinet instructed that lockdown must be enforced strictly, cabinet secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam said.
Bangladesh, which reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus last March, reported its highest single-day increase in infections on Sunday, with 7,087 cases.
On Monday some 2,932 people recovered from Covid-19, bringing the tally of recoveries to 555,414.
Some 30,239 samples were tested across the country in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate of 23.4 percent and the recovery rate at 86.19 percent.
The mortality rate stands at 1.45 percent.