Roads locked in East Rajabazar, Dhaka even before the lockdown begins
Roads locked in East Rajabazar, Dhaka even before the lockdown beginsProthom Alo file photo

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader has ruled out the possibility of the reimposition of a full-scale lockdown in Bangladesh as the country is taking all-out preparations to face a possible second wave of COVID-19 infections, reports news agency UNB.

“A full-scale virus lockdown isn’t possible in Bangladesh. What India did wasn’t very effective,” he told newspersons at his ministry office on Tuesday.

Asked if a lockdown would be reimposed, Quader, officially the second-in-command of the ruling Awami League, said it was not on the cards. “Some restrictions may be put in place but nothing of this sort (lockdown),” he said.

But Quader said people’s lives come first and the government would make “tough choices” considering the virus outbreak situation.

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“Masks must be used, [and] that’s a tough decision… people will be fined if they don’t wear masks, the prime minister is very strict in this matter,” he said.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is monitoring the virus situation herself. “The government has taken preparations.”

Bangladesh reported 2,419 new coronavirus cases in previous 24 hours until Monday morning, pushing up the tally to 449,760.

Prime minister Hasina has been warning the people of a possible second COVID-19 wave and urging everyone to wear masks and follow health guidelines properly.

The prime minister has asked the authorities concerned to carry out a larger campaign and force people to wear masks, he said.

The government has already implemented a ‘no mask, no service’ policy while mobile courts are being operated to ensure the use of masks.

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