Thousands of people stranded in Bangladesh before sweeping the COVID lockdown | News of coronavirus pandemic

Most of the 168 million inhabitants of the South Asian nation will be confined to their homes by Thursday as part of the restrictions.

Thousands of people have been stranded in the Bangladeshi capital as authorities halt almost all public transport ahead of a major effort to fight a deadly resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

The country reported 119 deaths on Sunday, its highest number of deaths ever since the pandemic, while nine infections have averaged nearly 5,000 for the past few days.

Officials blame the recent spike in cases on the highly contagious variant of Delta coronavirus identified for the first time in neighboring India.

Most of the population of South Asia’s 168 million nations will be limited to their homes by Thursday as part of the restrictions, with only essential services and some factories facing export permits to operate.

The announcement of the lockdown raised one exodus of migrant workers from the capital Dhaka to the home country on Sunday, with tens of thousands of people scrambling on ferries to cross a large river.

People board a boat while authorities order a new lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, in Munshiganj, Dhaka [Munir Uz zaman/AFP]

The forced implementation of the closure rules has left thousands of workers in Dhaka forced to march to their offices on Monday, sometimes for hours, in the hot summer heat.

Large columns of people were seen marching on the main roads at the beginning of Monday. Jobs will be closed from Wednesday.

Bicycle rickshaws were allowed to operate at a last-minute government concession late Sunday, but prices have risen to inaccessible levels, commuters say.

“I started walking at 7 in the morning. I couldn’t get any buses or other vehicles I can’t afford a rickshaw, ”Shefali Begum, 60, who was walking to her daughter’s house in central Dhaka, told AFP news agency.

Restrictions on activity and movement were imposed across Bangladesh in mid-April as deaths and deaths jumped to their highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic.

Infections dropped in May, but have resumed growing this month, triggering tougher restrictions.

The country has reported more than 880,000 infections and about 14,000 deaths, but experts say the actual number could be much higher due to possible underreporting.

Health officials around the world have been alarmed by the rapid spread of the Delta variant, now reported by the WHO which has reached at least 85 countries.

More than two-thirds of new cases of viruses in Bangladesh’s capital were of the Delta variant, said a recent study by the Independent International Center for Research on Diarrheal Diseases in Dhaka.

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