Bangladeshi authorities have put Cox’s Bazar Municipality on lockdown declaring some areas in the district near the Rohingya refugee camps as coronavirus red zone for maximum risk of infection, the media reported.

The rate of COVID-19 infection in the district housing the world’s largest refugee camp has been rising rapidly for a week after the government ended the nationwide shutdown.

Md Kamal Hossain, the district administrator, said the local committee on coronavirus prevention made the decision to lock the municipality down in an emergency meeting on Friday (5 June).

It will be effective from Saturday through to Jun 20.

The district has recorded 877 COVID-19 patients so far with Cox’s Bazar Sadar Upazila having the highest number of infections, 364.

In the Rohingya camps, 35 refugees have tested positive for the new virus.

In the lockdown order, the authorities have banned all sorts of private, family, social, and political gatherings.

Everyone must stay at home and all modes of public and private transports will stay off the streets.

Only vehicles carrying essential goods will be allowed from 8 am to 8 pm.

Groceries and kitchen markets can remain open for eight hours on Sundays and Thursdays only by maintaining physical distancing and other health safety rules.

The shops and business establishments will remain closed.

Hospitals, pharmacies, ambulances, and vehicles carrying patients, health and essential services workers, and banking services for COVID-19 response will be out of the lockdown’s purview, said the report.

Organisations providing emergency services will remain open on a limited scale.

Banks and financial institutions will be open on Sundays and Thursdays, while transport terminals will operate outside the red zones.

No one can hold gatherings for aid distribution.

After reopening offices and public transport system on 31 May, the government said it would categorise areas as red, green and yellow zones with different sets of restrictions based on rates of infections and deaths.

Bangladesh has reported a total of 60,391 COVID-19 cases and 811 deaths so far.

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