Dhaka, March 25 -- The virus that causes the illness COVID-19 has hit 169 countries, infecting over 400,000 people and killing more than 18,000 until early Wednesday.

Bangladesh has 39 known cases with four confirmed deaths.

Considering that the effects of an outbreak in the densely populated country will be catastrophic, the government had earlier imposed restrictions on gatherings and closed educational institutions.

After the announcement on the shutdown of offices with a 10-day general holiday from Mar 26, people had already headed home in villages and towns from major cities, including capital Dhaka that hosts more than 20 million people.

The pressure became immense when the government suspended all rail links on Tuesday morning....