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Dhaka Tribune

Covid-19 spike: All tourist spots shut down for 14 days in CHT

The directives from the respective district administrations came on Wednesday, following the sharp rise in the Covid-19 cases

Update : 31 Mar 2021, 07:52 PM

All tourist spots and hotels in three districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts - Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban - have been shut down for the next 14 days, due to the sharp increase in deaths and new infections due to Covid-19 over the past one week.

The directives from the respective district administrations came on Wednesday, following a fresh set of restrictions the government imposed nationwide on Monday to curb the Covid-19 spike.

The closures will be effective from Thursday.

The Bandarban administration announced the closure to the public, putting seven upazilas in the district off limits to tourists.

Bandarban Deputy Commissioner Yasmin Parveen Tibriji confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.

According to the administration sources, there has been a rise in Covid-19 cases in the district, which is why the shutdown of tourism was announced.

After the announcement, tourists in Nafakhum, Remakri, Tindu, Devtakum, Boga Lake, Meghla, Nilachal and Chimbuk have been requested to return home as soon as possible.

The authorities also anticipate that when the number of tourists decrease, hotels and motels will officially close due to the lack of tourists.

With over 50 renowned tourist hotspots across the seven upazilas of Bandarban, they suspect that the tourism industry in Bangladesh may take a hit after the recent announcements.

Meanwhile, Rangamati Deputy Commissioner Md Mizanur Rahman announced the closure of tourist spots at an emergency meeting held at Rangamati deputy commissioner's (DC) office at around 5pm on Wednesday.

In addition to the closure, vehicle owners have been directed to ensure that every passenger travels in compliance with hygiene rules.

Transport owners have been instructed to ensure that only 50% of passengers are transported in all modes of transportation in the district as well.

The district administration also decided to close all gatherings and social events in Rangamati. 

The deputy commissioner added that police and all the concerned agencies would conduct mobile courts to ensure that people abide by the hygiene rules and maintain social distancing.

Shops and businesses in the district were also directed to close at 8pm every night, and hotels and motels were requested to pack up half of the tables and chairs to prevent overcrowding. Local hotels were also directed to remain closed for the duration of the shutdown.

The meeting, chaired by the deputy commissioner, was attended by Additional Deputy Commissioner Md Mamun Mia, Rangamati Hill District Council member Badal Dey, Additional Superintendent of Police Tapas Ranjan Ghosh, ASP Md Maruf Ahmed, and Sadar Upazila Chairman Shahiduzzaman Mohsin Roman, among others.

Leaders of the Rangamati Paribahan Malik Samity, businessmen and local journalists also attended the emergency meeting.

In addition to Bandarban and Rangamati, the Khagrachhari district authorities have also directed to shut down all tourist spots. The local administrator confirmed the information in a separate announcement.

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