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Bangladesh shuts all public transports as coronavirus death toll rises to 4

Press Trust of India  |  Dhaka 

Bangladesh on Tuesday suspended all public transport services as the country reported a fourth death due to the coronavirus pandemic which has killed nearly 17,000 people worldwide.

The decision came a day after the country 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.

"One more coronavirus patient has died and six more new cases has been detected" overnight, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) director Meerjady Sabrina Flora told a media briefing.

According to the official, the latest casualty raised the death toll to four. The country reported 39 confirmed cases.

Doctors and experts said lack of testing kits upset their efforts to examine suspects while lack of protection gears barred physicians from attending even ordinary patients.

In view of the current situation, the government has decided to put all public transport services under lockdown', Minister of Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader said in a video message on Tuesday.

"From today we have locked down all types of passenger transport systems, Quader told a media briefing.

The transport ministry in a statement said apart from the plane, train, ferry and bus services CNG-run autorickshaws and improvised motorised vehicles would as well stay off the during the 10-day nationwide holiday from March 26.

"Trucks, covered vans and vehicles carrying medicine, fuel and perishable items will be exempted from the (temporary) ban but additional passengers will not be allowed to commute on trucks or other goods-laden vehicles during the period, it said.

Ride-sharing services too will remain suspended during the period.

Non-motorised rickshaws, however, would not fall under this directive.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 20:22 IST