Health minister wants long-haul buses, India borders closed for some more days

Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said he wants the long-haul passenger transport system and the borders with India closed to avert the risk of an explosion of coronavirus infections.

The ministry will propose the extension of the shutdown of buses on long routes, launches and trains for some more days, he said at a news conference on Monday after transport workers’ protest to resume the services.

The government is now allowing only intra-district passenger transport services to keep the coronavirus from spreading in the rural areas. An extended lockdown over the outbreak is set to end on May 23.

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Maleque said the government was yet to finalise the decision on whether to keep the inter-district passenger transport services halted beyond May 23.

“The health ministry recommends keeping those shut for some more days,” he added.

He also said that Bangladesh was somewhat safer after closing its borders with India, where a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus, among other factors, has caused devastation.

“Our recommendation is to keep the borders closed until the situation improves in India.”

Bangladesh has detected six cases of the variant in returnees from India. One of them, who had cancer as well, has died.