Bangladesh ends a strict lockdown even as cases rise.
Bangladesh’s health system is crumbling under the ferocity of the country’s third wave of coronavirus infections, and by far the deadliest, and only 4% of the population is fully vaccinated. Still, the country of 165 million people lifted much of its lockdown on Wednesday.
Banks, stores and malls were allowed to reopen, and buses and trains were running at half capacity. This follows the reopening of the clothing industry, a pillar of the economy, two weeks ago.
And while health experts feared lifting the restrictions would make the epidemic worse, the effect of the restrictions on the livelihoods of people in Bangladesh has been devastating. The pandemic has pushed at least 24.5 million people into poverty, according to an April study.
Government advisers say the country’s leaders have no choice but to reopen. “It is not possible for the government to keep the country locked up forever,” Mohammad Shahidullah, chairman of the government Covid-19 committee, told local media.
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