Directorate General of Health Services on Thursday declared the whole country as risky for COVID-19 infections, prohibiting movement from dusk to dawn.
DGHS director general Abul Kalam Azad made the announcement in a notice in the evening, asking people to follow three government directives.
Or else, the violators would be punished under the Infectious Diseases (Prevention, Control and Elimination) Act 2018 .
The directives include: no outdoor presence of anyone between 6:00pm and 6:00am, no movement from one neighborhood to another and the implementation of the mandatory stay-at-home order and no venturing outdoors if it was not a serious emergency.
The declaration comes under effect from 6:00pm Thursday.
‘As the infections from the new virus could be not prevented without stopping public contact and as the infections already spread to different areas of the country, the whole country has been declared as risky for COVID-19 as per the authority of Section 11 (1) of the Infectious Diseases (Prevention, Control and Elimination) Act 2018,’ the announcement said.
It said the decision was made as the novel coronavirus already appeared as a global pandemic, infecting millions of people and killing over 1 lakh people.
Besides, it said, as the virus spread through coughing, sneezing and personal contact and no vaccine or medicine has been introduced while the World Health Organisation advised all to avoid personal contact as the only preventive measure, the decision has been made.
In another development, the health ministry on the day declared four hospitals in the capital and Gazipur as dedicated COVID-19 facilities.
The hospitals are Sheikh Hasina Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute, Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital, Mugda Medical College Hospital and Shaheed Tajuddin Medical College Hospital in Gazipur.
The notice ordered relocation of all patients suffering from other diseases and now taking treatment at these four hospitals to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Bangladesh reported its first COVID-19 infections on March 8 and first death on March 18.
Already 60 people died and 1527 people were infected with the novel virus.
The number of infections has been soaring every day and already spread to 45 districts since the first infections in Narayanganj.
It took 29 days to reach 100 cases but in the last 11 days, the infections increased to 1472 patients.