Govt decides to extend general holiday till 30 May

The government has decided to extend the ongoing general holidays until 30 May to contain the transmission of the novel coronavirus as it continues to claim more lives and infect a larger number of people every day across Bangladesh.

Farhad Hossain, state minister for public administration, confirmed the matter and said prime minister Sheikh Hasina has directed to extend the holidays.

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A gazette notification will be issued on Wednesday or Thursday in this regard, he said.

Strict restrictions will be imposed on transportation, Farhad said adding that no vehicle will be allowed to ply on roads four days before Eid-ul-Fitr and two days after it, except the emergency services.

On 23 March, the government declared general holidays from 26 March to 4 April to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Later, the holidays were extended six times until 25 April -– first from 5 April to 9 April, then from 10 April to 14 April, later from 15 April to 16 April, then again from 17 April to 25 April, from 25 April to 5 May and finally from 7 May to 16 May in a bid to tackle the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

However, a notification issued on 25 April also included directive that all the ministries, divisions and their subordinate offices involved in providing emergency services will remain open on a limited scale during the extended general holidays.

On the same day, the public administration ministry said the government offices at division, district and upazila levels under 18 ministries and divisions will remain open on a limited scale.

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Earlier, the government closed all the educational institutions apart from shutting down the rail, road, river and air communications to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 212 countries and territories around the world.

So far, a total of 17,822 were found infected and 269 died of COVID-19 as of Wednesday in country, according to Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).