DHAKA: Bangladesh's national committee for tackling the coronavirus pandemic has spotted dozens of areas as red zones due to high infection and death rates, majority of them in capital Dhaka.
They include 45 areas in Dhaka, 11 in Charttogram and several Upazilas in Narayanganj, Gazipur, and Narsingdi, bdnews24 said in a report on Sunday.
The committee is marking an area that has recorded minimum 60 COVID-19 cases among 100,000 people in last 14 days as a red zone in Dhaka and Chattogram cities.
The ratio for red zone outside the two main cities is 10 cases to 100,000 people.
The administrators, superintendents of police and civil surgeons of the districts will pinpoint the red zones now, the committee decided on Saturday.
The authorities are yet to decide on the time to impose lockdowns on the areas.
The timing will depend on preparations of the authorities related to enforcing lockdowns, Health Minister Zahid Malik told bdnews24 on Sunday.
"It can happen tomorrow if the relevant agencies are ready. But the preparations are not complete in Dhaka," he said.
Brig Gen Mominur Rahman Mamun, the chief health officer of Dhaka North City Corporation, told bdnews24 that they got the list of the red zones, but needed to work more on it.
"It's a draft list, not final. We are studying it. The red zones will have to be much more specified," he said.
The government ended the coronavirus shutdown of offices and the public transportation system on May 31 after over two months amid a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
It has decided to categorise the areas red, green and yellow based on the rate of coronavirus infections and deaths from the disease.
Bangladesh has so far reported 87,520 COVID-19 cases, with 1,171 deaths.