Bangladesh on Monday declared a 10-day nationwide holiday from March 26 and called out the Army to enforce social distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed over 15,000 lives globally.
All government and private offices will be closed from March 26 to April 4.
"The holidays will begin with the March 26 Independence Day holiday in view of the COVID-19 situation, Cabinet Secretary Khondker Anwarul Islam told a media briefing in the capital.
The top bureaucrat of the country added that troops were called out to enforce social distancing as the most crucial means to prevent the spread of the pandemic which has claimed three lives in the country.
Bangladesh has reported 33 coronavirus cases so far.
Islam said the public transport services would be restricted during the holidays when all government and private offices, except those involved in emergency services including law enforcement and health facilities, would remain shut.
Islam, accompanied by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's principal secretary and armed forces division officials, said the low-income people could return to their villages where they would be provided with the government aid or they could take refuge in Bhashanchar Island in Bay of Bengal.
Infrastructures were developed in the island under a government plan to relocate over a million of Rohingya refugees who who fled a military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state in August 2017.
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