People wearing face masks are seen on a train in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 24, 2020. The Bangladeshi government on Tuesday announced to restrict public transport across the country till April 4 from March 26 amid efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The Bangladeshi government on Tuesday reported the fourth death in the country in addition to six more confirmed cases, bringing the total to 39. (Str/Xinhua)
DHAKA, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The Bangladeshi government on Tuesday announced to restrict public transport across the country till April 4 from March 26 amid efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bangladeshi Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, also general secretary of ruling Bangladesh Awami League party, made the announcement in a video message from his office in Dhaka on Tuesday.
"This is for information of the countrymen, the passengers and the transport workers and the owners that the government decided a lockdown for all modes of public transport from March 26 to April 4 to curb COVID-19 outbreak," he said.
The minister said truck, covered van and vehicles carrying medicines, fuel and perishable items will not come under the purview.
No passenger can travel by goods-carrying vehicles, he said.
Earlier in the day Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority announced suspension of ferry services starting Tuesday afternoon.
Also on Tuesday morning Bangladesh Railway suspended operation of 257 local, mail and commuter trains till further notice, a senior official of Bangladesh Railway told Xinhua.
The official who did not like to be named said steps are underway also to suspend intercity trains shortly.
Long-route bus services from capital Dhaka to some destinations have already been suspended due to growing concern over the virus.
Following the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Bangladeshi government on Monday declared a public holiday from March 26 to April 4 except for entities providing essential services.
Bangladeshi health authorities on Monday reported another COVID-19 death, taking the country's death toll from the outbreak to three, as the number of cases rose to 33.