July 17, 2024, 3:43 pm


2020-05-28 01:37:31 BdST

Govt decides not to extend general holidays further

The ongoing general holidays will not see an extension after May 30. 

"A gazette notification will be issued regarding this on Thursday," State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said on Wednesday evening, adding that the ministry just received the approval of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina regarding the general holidays. 

The government initially declared a 10-day general holiday, from March 26 to April 4, two weeks after the country reported its first positive case of the novel coronavirus. 

The general holiday was later extended seven times. 

However, experts fear a further spike in cases after the holidays due to relaxation in shutdown restrictions and allowing people to travel in hordes to homes to celebrate Eid. 

If the general holidays do not get an extension, it will expire on May 30 when new cases are spiking in the country.

The state minister said that all government and private offices will reopen from May 31 on a limited scale while complying the 13-point instruction of the Health Service Division. 

"Elderly people, pregnant women, and those who are sick will not have to attend the office."

"All educational institutes will remain closed till June 15. But classes can be taken online. 

"Public transports, including rail and waterways transports, will remain suspended. The private airlines, however, can operate following proper safety measures.

"The movement of vehicles from one district to another will also be restricted. The law enforcers are setting up checkpoints at all entrance and exit points of the districts."

All public gatherings and meetings will also remain banned until further notice. 

Mosques and other religious places will remain open while complying with health regulations. 

Shops have been allowed to remain open, from 10am to 4pm, following all the health guidelines.

On Wednesday, Bangladesh confirmed 22 more deaths from the novel coronavirus and 1,541 new cases.

With this, the death toll from the deadly virus rose to 544 and total infections stood at 38,292.

The government initially declared a 10-day general holiday from March 26 to curb the spread of novel coronavirus. The holiday was later extended till April 11 and then to April 14. 

Again, it was extended to April 25 in the fourth phase, May 5 in the fifth phase, May 7 to May 16 in the sixth phase and finally up to May 30 to tackle the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

In her address to the nation last Sunday, on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, Sheikh Hasina said, "Economic activities have to be resumed for the sake of the lives and livelihoods of people."

"Most countries of the world have already been compelled to relax shutdown because it is not possible to restrict people's source of income for an indefinite period. And it is not at all possible for a developing country like Bangladesh too."

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