Bangladesh tightens restrictions

Tens of thousands of migrant workers fled Bangladesh’s capital on Sunday on the eve of a tightened lockdown that will curtail most economic activity and confine people to their homes as coronavirus infections soar.

Restrictions on activities and movement have been in place since mid-April as cases and deaths jumped.

Infections declined in May but started to rise again this month, with over 5,000 new cases and a pandemic-high of 119 deaths on Sunday, according to the health ministry.

The resurgence has prompted the government to toughen restrictions in stages from Monday, with economic activity — including shops, markets, transportation and offices — to shut down by Thursday.

People will be ordered to stay at homes while only emergency services and export-oriented factories continue operations. The coming closure has sparked an exodus from Dhaka, the capital.

With public inter-city transportation already suspended since June 22, people have squeezed into rickshaws, hopped onto motorbikes and even hired ambulances to make their way to their villages.