Reopening amid surge in virus cases
Staff Reporter :
Bangladesh on Sunday reopened offices and transport services in a restricted manner after 66-days of nationwide shutdown even as the country recorded 40 more coronavirus deaths, the highest number of fatalities in a single day.
The death toll due to the coronavirus climbed to 650 while the positive cases rose to 47,153 after 2,545 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest in a single day, recorded on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Health.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier said that the reopening appeared inevitable to keep operative Bangladesh's economic activities despite the pandemic.
A government order three days ago asked government and private offices to open with limited physical presence of employees and resume state-run railway and private ferry services strictly maintaining health guidelines.
The government, meanwhile, reset bus fare across the country, increasing it by 60 per cent issuing an order saying the new rate would be applicable during the COVID-19 crisis period and "the previous rate would be reinstated once the crisis is over".
Railway officials said they have resumed train services initially running eight inter-city trains.
Besides, disinfectant tunnels have been installed at the capital's Sadarghat launch terminal through which passengers would enter the terminal and they were accommodated on marked seats to maintain social distancing.
Bangladesh first declared a nationwide holiday from March 26 to April 4 while the country confirmed the first coronavirus death on March 18, ten days after the detection of the first three COVID-19 cases.
Since its enforcement on March 26, the shutdown was extended in six phases until May 30.