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Bangladesh to reopen shopping centres amid virus shutdown

Amid a nationwide shutdown, Bangladesh has decided to reopen shopping centres from the weekend to allow people to buy goods ahead of the Muslim Eid-al-Fitr festival, the government said on Monday.
The shopping centres will be allowed to open for six hours every day starting from Sunday, according to an order issued hours after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina permitted the reopenings ahead of Eid, which is likely to be celebrated on May 23.
“But the shopping malls will have to follow the health guidelines,” according to the order.
It asks owners to make hand-washing equipment available at entrances before they open again.
The order also stressed that nationwide restrictions on transport remain in force.
Earlier in the day, the government extended the country’s shutdown until May 16, as cases of the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,000, with health officials reporting 688 new infections on Monday.
The death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 182 since the virus was detected in early March, Health Ministry official Nasima Sultana said.
The South Asian country originally closed schools and non-essential offices in the public and private sectors and restricted public transport on March 26 to stem the spread of the virus.