The government has decided to relax the ongoing strict Coid-19 lockdown for seven days from Thursday, considering the Eid-ul-Azha and the cattle market, sources say.
During this time, public transportation will also resume on a limited scale and shopping malls and stores will be reopened — keeping in mind the Eid travel and shopping rushes.
However, after the Eid holidays, the strict lockdown will resume again for 14 more days, according to high-level Cabinet Division officials who spoke to our correspondent seeking anonymity.
Sources said the decision has been made and the circular on this will be issued soon following the green light from the top level of the government.
The relaxed Covid-19 restrictions will be effective from 6am July 15 to 6am July 23. After the Eid holidays, from July 24, the country will go back on a two-week strict lockdown again, said the sources.
Authorities are also keen on permitting some markets for sacrificial cattle in compliance with the health safety rules ahead of the Eid.
According to sources, the move is influenced by the consideration of the livelihood of the country’s poor population who have been suffering the most due to the lockdown.
Easing the pressure of the homebound people was also one of the reasons behind the decision, said Cabinet Division officials.
However, health authorities and experts have warned that if the current situation is not mitigated properly the ongoing Covid-19 crisis will deteriorate further.
The government had imposed a stricter-than-before lockdown across Bangladesh from July 1.
It was later extended for another week, which will end at midnight on Wednesday, while Covid cases and deaths saw a steep rise in the country.
Bangladesh recorded 220 deaths in the 24 hours between 8am Sunday and 8am Monday.
Besides, 13,768 new cases were also recorded during the same period – the highest single-day figure since March last year.