The Covid-19 infection rate in the country has recently increased around four hundred times than last two months. In the wake of this surge strict social restrictions are likely to be imposed soon.
Decisions regarding closing of shops after 8 pm and public transports operating with no more than 50pc occupancy is also being considered as precautions. If the situation of the spread of the virus worsens, educational institutions may also be considered to be shut.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Malek said this while he was distributing warm clothes among the poor at Garpara in Manikganj on Saturday.
According to the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19, it is suggested that the health protocols such as social distancing, washing hands regularly, wearing masks and other health guidelines must be strictly followed. Social gatherings and meetings should be held with limited participation.
Legal actions through mobile courts would be taken if these protocols are not maintained after the decisions are announced.
Furthermore, the committee suggested bringing students under the vaccination wing as soon as possible in order to tackle the situation of the rising infection rate.
The list of suggestions by the committee emphasised the importance of screening, isolation and quarantine. It also highlighted the need to keep enough ICUs available to tackle the situation if it worsens.
President of NTAC, Dr Md Shahidullah, told Bangladesh Post, “It is important to take some precautionary steps due to the rapid spike of coronavirus infection.”
“All sorts of gatherings should be restricted to stop the spread of the deadly virus. Health guidelines need to be strictly implemented as part of the regular lifestyle as before,” he said.
He also said that discussions were being held regarding the suggested precautions. However, no decisions have been made yet regarding the shutdown of educational institutions and nationwide lockdown.
“Schools, colleges and universities have recently been opened on a limited scale after more than one and half years. Closing the institutions once again is not in the plan. Lockdown would also be a hasty decision. However, some restrictions along with strict health protocols should be the first few steps for now,” he added.
The health minister further said the government has already taken several initiatives to bring the virus under control. All district and upazila level hospitals consisting of enough doctors and nurses are ready to provide services across the country.
“Hygiene rules are not being observed properly in the union council elections and there is an increasing health risks. Mobile courts will be conducted if necessary to make sure that the hygiene rules are complied with,” he said.
Zahid Malek warned that as the rate of Covid infections is increasing, we will be strict in following the hygiene rules. People will face legal actions if they roam outside without wearing masks.
The minister also said, “Covid-19 infections are on the rise in many parts of the world. However, it is still under control in our country. Bangladesh is in a better position than that of many other countries in terms of the spread of Omicron infection.”
Omicron has infected more than 1 lakh people in the United Kingdom and over 4 lakh people in the United States. In order to keep the people of our country safe, everyone has to follow the health protocols strictly, he added.
Manikganj Additional Superintendent of Police Hafizur Rahman, District Administration Executive Magistrate Shah Mohammad Jubayer Hossain, Manikganj Sadar Upazila Awami League General Secretary Afsar Uddin Sarkar and Saturia Upazila Awami League General Secretary Afaz Uddin were present on the occasion.