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Govt for lockdown extension, magistracy power to police

Police to get magistracy power to ensure that everyone wears a mask

The government has decided in principle to extend the ongoing lockdown from May 17 to curb the surge in Covid-19 cases feared after the Eid holidays.

Moreover, the government is also working to give the police magistracy power by amending the Infectious Diseases (Prevention, Control and Eradication) Act-2018 to make people wear masks due to lack of manpower to conduct mobile courts.

State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain confirmed the decisions to Bangla Tribune on Thursday.

This year, the government initially imposed the countrywide restrictions on public movement on April 5, with the strict lockdown put into effect from April 14. The lockdown was later extended till May 16.

Also Read – Dhaka streets deserted as Eid holiday begins

The junior minister said that the way the people were going home in great numbers and went out shopping defying health rules, “there is no doubt the infection rate will surge again.

“There is no alternative to ensuring that 100% population of the country wear masks, for which the police will be given special power.”

According to cabinet officials, the holidaymakers usually return to the capital eight to 10 days after the Eid. So, if the ongoing lockdown is extended by another week, the spread of the deadly virus could be checked since most of the people will not be able to return to Dhaka.

The government and public health experts are concerned about a possible third wave of Covid-19 in early June due to the detection of the Indian variant of the virus in Bangladesh.

The junior minister said that the law needed to be amended to give magistracy power to the police. “It will come into effect once the president promulgates an ordinance.”

Also Read – Daily Covid-19 deaths drop to seven-week low

According to latest figures, Bangladesh registered 31 deaths from Covid-19 in the 24 hours till Thursday morning, taking the total number of deaths in the country to 12,076. The latest single-day death toll is the lowest since March 25.

During the same time, a total of 5,819,912 people got their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while 3,651,153 got second dose.

Amid a shortage of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Bangladesh on Wednesday received 500,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine as a gift.

On April 26, Bangladesh closed its borders with India for 14 days for passengers. In the meantime, the country detected its first cases of the Indian coronavirus variant, prompting the authorities to extend the closure of the land borders for two more weeks.


Zaraki Kenpachi