DHAKA (Reuters) – The number of coronavirus cases in Bangladesh surpassed 10,000 on Monday, the country’s health ministry said, with infections increasing in pace over the past several days.
Bangladesh reported 688 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, taking its tally since it reported its first case two months ago to 10,143. The death toll rose to 182 from 177.
More than 2,000 garment factories in Bangladesh that supply to global brands reopened last week after a month-long shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but much of the rest of the economy remains offline.
Some of the world’s biggest clothing companies including Gap Inc, Zara-owner Inditex and H&M source their supplies from Bangladesh, which allowed garment manufacturers, mostly concentrated around the capital Dhaka and the port city of Chittagong, to resume work last week.
Bangladesh is home to around 4,000 garment factories employing 4.1 million workers, and industry groups for the sector had warned that the shutdown that began on March 26 and cancellation of orders could cause the country to lose $6 billion in export revenue this financial year.
Competitors such as Vietnam, China and Cambodia have already resumed operations.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has told government officials that schools and colleges may have to remain closed until September if the situation does not improve.
Reporting by Ruma Paul in Dhaka and Jane Wardell; Editing by Toby Chopra and Emelia Sithole-Matarise