DHAKA, Bangladesh

The Bangladeshi government on Friday decided to impose a “harder” nationwide lockdown for a week starting coming Monday, amid sharp rise in COVID-19 infections and fatalities, an official said.

“We will review the COVID-19 situation in the next one week and may extend the ‘harder’ lockdown for another period if needed. Police, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and military personnel will be on streets to ensure that people follow the restrictions,” Farhad Hossain, state minister of public administration, told Anadolu Agency.

All government and private offices will be closed except for emergency services. No one will be allowed to leave their houses unnecessarily, the Press Information Department said in a statement on Friday.

Only ambulances and medical vehicles would be allowed, it said, adding a notification with more details will be issued by the Cabinet Division on Saturday.

On Thursday, the National Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 suggested the government to impose a 14-day complete lockdown following meetings with Indian health experts as the Indian variant has also spread across Bangladesh.

The country on Friday reported 108 more deaths, the highest single-day figure since April 19, taking the death toll to 13,976. The South Asian Country also registered 5,869 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 878,904.

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