| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Bangladesh extends border closure with India until June 30 over Covid-19 fears

Bangladish extended border closure with India till June 30 as the COVID-19 situation in neighbouring districts of the country continued to deteriorate.

The announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was reported by the Dhaka Tribune on Monday.

Bangladeshis in India whose visas are valid for 15 days or less will be allowed to return home, provided they quarantine for two weeks, the ministry said.

Bangladesh closed its border with India on April 26 following a surge in infections of the so-called Delta variant of the disease, which was first detected in India.

The variant has alarmed health experts because of its highly transmissible nature and has also been blamed for more severe illness and a higher fatality rate among patients.

As concerns grew over the Delta variant, Bangladesh’s National Technical Advisory Committee asked the government to close the border. The country detected its first cases of the variant on May 8 and there are concerns it could have taken hold in the population.

Fatalities appear to be rising in the county once again, with 47 deaths reported on Sunday by the Directorate General of Health Services, the highest toll since early May.

Bangladesh has reported more than 13,000 deaths from Covid-19.

To combat the pandemic, in addition to lockdowns, the government has signed up to the international Covax vaccine sharing scheme, but supply constraints have affected distribution.

Health authorities took a second delivery of Sinopharm vaccines from China on Sunday.