DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh registered 77 additional deaths from the coronavirus on Saturday, taking the death toll to 14,053 with new hotspots outside the capital, Dhaka, particularly in border districts along India.

A total of 4,334 new infections were recorded, which took the caseload to 813,138, with the daily positivity rate of 22.50%, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The National Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 has already suggested imposing a 14-day complete shutdown as the Delta variant has already spread across Bangladesh — certainly in border districts.

Among the border districts; southwestern Jessore district witnessed as high as a 49.42% infection rate while the Dinajpur border district reported a 38% infection rate in recent hours as officials are fearing a third wave in the country.

The government, however, decided to impose a “harder” nationwide lockdown on Friday for one week starting Monday, amid a steady rise in infections and fatalities.

The closure of educational institutions will be extended as the government decided to impose a new lockdown. Schools have remained closed for 15 straight months since March 2020.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh will soon receive a gift of 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine delivered through the multi-donor COVAX global initiative.

The US will donate 500 million Pfizer vaccines to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries, including Bangladesh, according to the US Embassy in Dhaka.

Bangladesh is struggling to get vaccines amid surging infections as a supply from India was halted under an official agreement.

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