Dhaka, March 20 (IANS) The Bangladesh government has decided to deploy the Army to help combat the novel coronavirus pandemic as the number of confirmed cases increased to 17 with one death, authorities said.

Health Minister Zahid Malik announced the decision on Thursday, saying the Army will be used to build special quarantine facilities in Tongi on the outskirts of Dhaka, reports Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, the Minister said the government is contemplating to lockdown vulnerable areas to contain the outbreak of the disease.

“We’re planning to lock areas vulnerable as infection rates climb,” he told the media here.

As part of precautious measures, the Bangladeshi government reportedly suspended all kinds of political, social and religious gatherings in the country with a plea to people having symptoms of COVID-19 to refrain from going to mosques and other worship places.

Apart from the confirmed patients, hundreds of expatriate Bangladeshis were reportedly isolating themselves at their homes across the country, waiting to see if they develop symptoms of the dangerous virus.

So far, three COVID-19 patients have recovered in the country.




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