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COVID-19: WHO asks Bangladesh to declare lockdown

UN agency also asks country to declare emergency

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 22.03.2020
COVID-19: WHO asks Bangladesh to declare lockdown

DHAKA, Bangladesh

The World Health Organization (WHO) asked Bangladesh to consider imposing a complete or partial lockdown Saturday and declaring an emergency to combat the spread of coronavirus.

“In imposing a complete lockdown here we have to consider when the lockdown starts and how long it sustains,” said former mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation, Sayeed Khokon, following a meeting with WHO representatives in Dhaka.

“They advised us to also consider partial lockdown in Dhaka or any other parts of country,” he said, while acknowledging other nations have had success with the measure.

“We placed the recommendations to the Prime Minister,” who will make a final decision, Khokon said, characterizing Bangladesh as an over populated country and Dhaka as one the most densely populated cities.

The meeting was also attended by the representatives from the U.S. Communicable Disease Control and Protection.

A second Bangladeshi, a 73-year-old, died from the virus while four additional patients were diagnosed with the virus known as COVID-19, raising the number of cases to 24, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said Saturday, according to local media.

Bangladesh canceled all international commercial passenger flights with 10 countries midnight Saturday until March 31 to combat the spread of the virus, the head of the main international airport in Dhaka, Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan, confirmed to Anadolu Agency.

The countries include Turkey, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Singapore.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia Director, Brad Adams expressed concerns Friday about violations of government directions by people about coronavirus prevention.

“Even as Bangladesh recorded its first death from COVID-19, tens of thousands of people gathered in Raipur in the south of the country to pray ‘healing verses’ from the Quran to protect the country against the pandemic,” Adams said.

Referring to a lack of facilities to face the lethal virus he added: “The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) is currently the only facility with the capacity to run the coronavirus test for a country of more than 164 million. Testing is only available in the capital city, Dhaka.”

The virus, which emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has spread to at least 167 countries and regions around the globe, while the tally of confirmed cases more than 304,000, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The global death toll is now approaching 13,000, causing a chain reaction as governments place countries on lockdown to stem the spread.

Italy, China, Iran, and Spain continue to be the most affected countries.

Despite the rising number of cases, a vast majority of those infected suffer mild symptoms and recover, with almost 92,000 patients having recovered.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
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