The government is ready to put some virus hotspots – "red zones" – under hard lockdown within one or two days.
Drawing from the experience of lockdown in East Rajabazar of the capital, the government has upgraded its plan and operational procedures in the red zones.
According to the latest decision, the health ministry will declare the name of the new areas which will go under lockdown soon.
The announcement will be made 72 hours in advance to give people the chance to prepare for it.
During the lockdown period, there will be general holidays in the red zones only.
The Business Standard learned about the decision while talking to the policymakers of the government.
Earlier, a decision was taken to lock down all the red zones – determined by the number of infections.
But according to sources, the government has it decided to enforce lockdown in a customised way.
Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam said, "It will be difficult to manage the whole process if we bring an entire area under lockdown at the same time."
"Also, if we declare lockdown in all the red zones around the country, it will be difficult to manage and deploy the law enforcers. So we declared the areas with the highest risk and infection as lockdown zones."
"We will engage local public representatives in enforcing the lockdown," the minister said.
State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain told the Business Standard, "The decision has already been taken."
"Enforcement of lockdown will be covered by the Communicable Diseases (Prevention, Control and Elimination) Act, 2018. So the health ministry will declare the decision and provide the detail of the operation module."
"The decision was finalised in a high-level meeting and the health ministry will disclose the decisions taken there," Farhad Hossain said.
"We reviewed the operational pattern of the lockdown at East Rajabazar and reviewed all the issues. We have decided to declare general holidays in the lockdown areas to minimise the worries of the service holders."
Both ministers said that the government wants to operate the lockdown model effectively and efficiently.
The local administration will enforce the decision upon receiving the approval of the health ministry.
Earlier, LGRD Minister Tajul Islam instructed the local committees of the ministry to become active after the government's announcement of zone-based lockdown to fight Covid-19.
Regarding lifting lockdown in Narayanganj, Farhad Hossain said that only East Rajabazar had been brought under lockdown following the central decision.
The local authorities put the other areas across the country under lockdown.
"We want to contain the spread of the deadly virus with our current lockdown model. So to make it more effective, we took time. We hope to meet our target with the support of the people," Farhad Hossain said.
On June 1, the government decided to divide the entire country into three zones – red, yellow and green – based on the number of Covid-19 cases in different areas.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina agreed on the zoning system and approved it.
On June 9 midnight "experimental" lockdown at East Rajabazar was put in place as the number of cases rose there.
Rajabazar still under hard lockdown
Strict lockdown in the capital's East Rajabazar continued for the fourth day up to yesterday.
People's movement in the area is being tightly monitored as the volunteers and the law enforcers are keeping a log sheet of the individuals exiting from and entering into the area.
However, some e-commerce companies are providing home-delivery of food and goods there.