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Bangladesh declares public holiday, army to assist in COVID-19 fight

Bangladesh declares public holiday

Dhaka, March 24 (UITV/IANS)- Due to the increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, the Bangladeshi government has declared a public holiday from March 26 to April 4, while the army will be deployed to assist authorities in the fight against the pandemic.

Bangladeshi Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam made the announcement at a press conference in Dhaka on Monday, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Army would be deployed to assist local administration as all the government and the private offices in the country will be closed from March 26 to April 4."

He said the shutdown will not affect emergency services such as law enforcement agencies and hospitals.

Public transport will operate on a limited scale but markets will stay open as usual, Islam added.

People have been asked not to leave their homes, except to collect emergency supplies and daily essentials.

The citizens have also been asked to practice social distancing.

Regarding banking, he said services have been limited and the central Bangladesh Bank will give necessary directives.

The decisions were taken after Bangladesh health authorities on Monday reported another COVID-19 death, taking the country's death toll to three, while te number of infections rose to 33.