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A seven-day lockdown has been declared for the time being to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

Further decisions will be taken at the end of the seven days in consultation with experts, state minister for public administration Farhad Hossain told Prothom Alo over the mobile phone on Saturday.

The state minister explained the seven-day lockdown, saying, “It is a seven-day lockdown for the time being. We hope that we will be able to contain the virus by keeping people confined to their homes. If not, the virus will spread further. We will consider the requirements of the people after the end of the seven-day lockdown, upon consultation with the experts. But for the time being it will be seven days.”

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In the previous lockdown, various sorts of assistance was provided to working class people. Will there be any such provision this time? “If the lockdown is restricted to just seven days… we will think about these matters. The details will appear when a notification is issued. This may be issued tonight,” the state minister replied.

Earlier the state minister, in a video message to the media from his Baily Road residence, said only establishments providing essential services will remain open. Mills and factories will also remain open. The workers will follow the health guidelines and work in shifts.

Awami League general secretary, also road transport and bridges minister, Obaidul Quader on Saturday told newspersons that a countrywide one-week lockdown will be enforced from Monday.

With the spike in coronavirus transmissions again in the country, on 29 March the government issued an 18-point guideline for all offices and factories except essential services to run with fifty per cent staff, to limit public gatherings, for public transport to carry half capacity of passengers, and other directives.

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