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Lockdown declared in southern Bangladesh

Local authorities announce total lockdown in southern district hosting Rohingya refugee camps

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 08.04.2020
Lockdown declared in southern Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Wednesday imposed a complete lockdown on its southern district of Cox's Bazar -- where more than 1.2 million Rohingya refugees have been living for years in makeshift tents -- to stem the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

"For the public interest, Cox's Bazar has been declared on lockdown," local Deputy Commissioner Md. Kamal Hossain announced on Facebook, adding that entry and exit were now forbidden for the district.

Warning of severe punishment for violating the order, Hossain said: "Stern action will be taken against anyone who breaches the directive."

Separately, Hossain later told Anadolu Agency that essential services, including food and medicine delivery, would be exempt from the lockdown.

Referring to the Rohingya refugees living in cramped camps in the district's hilly forests, he said: "As a result of this measure, the risks of coronavirus infection among the Rohingya refugees will also be reduced a lot."

No Rohingya have yet been confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Meanwhile, three more people died from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours in Bangladesh, raising the death tally to 20 in the country, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

An additional 54 people have tested positive for COVID-19 during this period, raising the number of cases in the country to 218, while 33 people have recovered the disease.

Since the virus emerged last December in China's Wuhan city, it has spread to at least 184 countries and regions.

There are more than 1.45 million confirmed cases worldwide, with over 83,500 deaths, and above 308,700 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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