Dhaka, June 26: Amid a dramatic surge in COVID-19 infections, Bangladesh will be going into a nationwide 'hard lockdown' from Monday for seven days in a bid to stem the spread of cases. In a notification on Friday, the Information Ministry said that all government and private offices, except for emergency services will remain closed during the lockdown, Dhaka Tribune reported.

All kinds of transports, except for those carrying emergency supplies, ambulances and vehicles for healthcare services and media, will remain suspended from Monday, it said. No one will be allowed to leave home without emergency purposes. Bangladesh Extends COVID-19 Lockdown Till July 15 After 60 Deaths in Day.

The announcement comes after the national COVID-19 advisory panel on Thursday recommended imposing a nationwide shutdown for two weeks, with all kinds of offices remaining closed.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh's State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain told the media that they were all set to impose a complete shutdown any time.

Dhaka Tribune reported that the government was forced to impose a nationwide lockdown for one week from April 5 to contain the spread of infections as COVID-19 cases kept growing at an alarming rate since mid-March.

On Friday, the death toll from COVID-19 rose by 108, the second-highest single-day jump since the pandemic unfolded last year in Bangladesh.

The caseload surged by 5,869 to 878,804, according to the latest government data. The daily infection rate rose to 21.22 per cent, up from 15 per cent a week ago. Amid the dramatic surge in infections, public experts fear that the pandemic in Bangladesh could take a catastrophic turn.

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