Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said that shielding the people from the coronavirus and maintaining normal economic activities in the country simultaneously is like a "war", a day after the deadly disease seems to have contributed to the death of a minister.
Hasina told Parliament that her government will take effective measures so that people do not die of starvation and their lives and livelihoods are not affected, the Dhaka Tribune reported.
She said that keeping away people from getting infected with coronavirus and running the wheels of the economy simultaneously is a "war".
"We have also taken steps so that economic activities could continue running, we have been able to place a budget, this is a kind of war," she was quoted as saying in the report.
"We have decided to bring the worst-hit areas by coronavirus under lockdown aimed at checking its further spread," she said.
She said that her government is trying its best to make people understand the urgency of maintaining health codes to stem the spread of the virus.
"The world is now under the grip of the panic of death. This is very strange. We've never seen this kind of situation in the past," she said.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Abdullah, who died of "heart attack" on Saturday, had contracted the virus, a report in the bdnews24.com said.
Abdullah's COVID-19 test result came back positive after his death, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury was quoted as saying in the report.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh reached 87,520 on Sunday after 3,141 people tested positive in the last 24 hours, the report said. The country also recorded 32 deaths from the deadly disease during the period, taking the number of fatalities to 1,171.
Additional Director General Nasima Sultana said that hospitals across the country released 903 COVID-19 patients, bringing the total number of patients who have recovered from the disease to 18,730.
A total of 14,505 samples were tested at 60 authorised labs in the country, she was quoted as saying in the bdnews24.com report.