One week of lockdown will not be effective to curb the ongoing surge in Covid-19 infections, the committee maintains
The National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 has recommended extending the ongoing hard lockdown for seven more days.
Dr Mohammad Shahidullah, chairman of the NTAC, confirmed the matter to Bangla Tribune on Sunday.
“It goes without saying that the government enforced this [hard] lockdown based on our advice. But we recommended the lockdown for 15 days,” the NTAC chief said.
The lockdown will not be effective in curbing Covid-19 surge if it is not enforced for at least 15 days, he explained.
“We stand by our previous recommendation. We advised a two-week shutdown. The government enforced a hard lockdown for one week. We believe it should be extended for another week,” he added.
Asked if they had placed their recommendation again, Dr Shahidullah said: “We recommended a two-week shutdown in the first place.”
The NTAC, earlier on June 24, issued a statement recommending a 14-day shutdown across Bangladesh to contain the alarming rise of Covid-19 infections, especially because of the Delta variant transmission.
The statement said the two-week shutdown must include offices and every other businesses and services, except for the emergency ones, and the shutdown must be enforced strictly to prevent the country’s healthcare facilities from getting overwhelmed by the Covid surge.
A week after the NTAC issued the statement, Bangladesh went into its toughest phase of lockdown, with only emergency services allowed to operate, on July 1.
The country is going through another rough phase of the pandemic, with the health authorities reporting 153 deaths in a single day on Sunday, breaking the previous record of 143, which was reported only three days before.
The total death toll due to Covid-19 in Bangladesh now stands at 15,065 as of Sunday, while the total caseload stands at 944,917.