Dhaka: The Bangladesh government on Saturday decided to impose a week-long nationwide lockdown from Monday as COVID-19 cases and deaths surged across the country.

Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader made the announcement at a media briefing in Dhaka on Saturday, the Dhaka Tribune newspaper reported.

Bangladesh on Friday logged 6,830 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest count in a day, taking the tally of infections to 624,594. The death toll climbed by 50 in 24 hours to 9,155, according to data released by the government.

In a bid to arrest the spread of the coronavirus, the government has decided to enforce a seven-day lockdown from Monday as the coronavirus cases and deaths are surging across the country, Quader, also the general secretary of the ruling Awami League, said.

However, the order does not apply to utility and emergency services.

Factories will remain open and workers can work shifts by following hygiene rules, the report said.

Also Read | COVID-19 resurgence: 8 states account for 81.42% of single-day infections

Every office and court will be closed during this lockdown but industries and mills will continue their operation on rotation, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain was quoted as saying by the Dhaka Tribune.

Asked why industries will not be closed, the minister said: If we close the mills then the workers may have to leave their workstations and head for home.

Bangladesh on Wednesday registered a massive jump in new COVID-19 cases with 5,358 infections, the highest single-day increase since the pandemic broke out in the country in March last year, it said.

On Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office issued an 18-point directive, including a ban on all public gatherings in areas with high rates of infections.

In a gazette notification, it asked to limit gatherings in all types of events, including social, political and religious.

It also said that buses will not be allowed to carry passengers more than half of their seating capacity and have to maintain the safety COVID-19 safety guidelines.

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