Possible `restrictions` to prevent Omicron...

Dhaka, Saturday   22 January 2022

Possible `restrictions` to prevent Omicron

 News Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 01:44 PM, 4 January 2022  

File photo

File photo

The government is emphasizing the observance of hygiene rules by making it mandatory to wear a mask on the new type of COVID. Possible 'restrictions' might be enforced soon to prevent Omicron.

The rules include limited number of  passengers in public transport, opening of educational institutions after vaccination, showing of vaccination cards in hotels and restaurants and serving of foods. The range may increase later considering the situation.

An inter-ministerial meeting on 'Omicron' issue was held in the conference room of the Cabinet Division at the Secretariat on Monday (January 3) evening. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal was present in the meeting as the chief guest. Health Secretary Zahid Maleque was present as the special guest under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam.

The meeting started at 6:20 pm. The hour-long meeting discussed a number of issues. Besides, some dicisions have also been made.

According to the meeting sources, the meeting also discussed over the use of 50 percent of the number of seats in passenger of public transport, tourist centers, resorts, community centers and recreation centers. It has also decided to limit political, religious and social events.

Besides, a decision could be made to refrain from eating in restaurants without vaccination. 

A notification in this regard will be issued by the Cabinet after 15 days. Besides, it has been decided to fine through mobile court for not wearing the mask.

In the current situation, the educational institution will continue. However, the meeting also discussed about strengthening the COVID vaccination activities among the students.

According to the concerned sources, emphasis has been given on adhering to the hygiene rules in the meeting. In this case, the organizations which will not follow the hygiene rules, will have to take the responsibility. This issue has also been discussed. The meeting also discussed about asking the administration to be strict in enforcing hygiene rules in shops including shopping malls and markets.

After the meeting, Health Minister Zahid Maleque told the reporters that COVID is increasing. Mortality rates are still low though. If the rate of infection increases, the death rate is likely to increase. We want to control it.

He said that if COVID is not under control, there will be issue of lockdown again, there will be thoughts about school-college again. There is a possibility of a negative impact on everything. This is not what we want. We have discussed taking some steps to control it.

The minister said that the number of programs will be limited. We are somewhat positive that it will be done. The issue of reducing the seat capacity in the transport sector has also been discussed and hopefully a decision will be reached.

'We have increased the number of scanner in ports and strengthened them,' he said. More emphasis has been placed on quarantine. Arrange quarantine under police guard so that people cannot leave during the quarantine days.

The minister said that whoever goes to the shop, will have to wear a mask. If not, he will be fined through the mobile court, it has been decided.

Another urge has been given to get vaccinated. Those who have been vaccinated will be able to eat in restaurants, go to the office, and perform various activities normally while wearing masks. But without vaccination, they will not be able to eat in restaurants. Vaccination certificate must be shown.

The health minister said if restaurants violate the rules, the restaurant will also be fined.