• Sunday, Feb 05, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Health Minister: No decision yet over lockdown

  • Published at 12:38 pm March 18th, 2021
File photo: Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque addresses the press at Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday, January 31, 2020 <strong>Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune</strong>
File photo shows Health Minister Zahid Maleque addressing the media Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

The minister urged everyone to maintain health safety guidelines and avoid social events

The government has not yet taken any decision to enforce lockdown again in the country to curb the transmission of coronavirus, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said on Thursday.

He further said: “Currently, we do not have any plan to impose lockdown. No decision has been taken yet in this regard but mobile courts will be operated. If everyone follows the health protocols, the transmission won’t go beyond control.”

The health minister came up with the remarks while addressing a program at the capital’s Krishibid Institution, marking the International Women’s Day.

The minister urged all to follow the rule of “no mask no service” as the virus is yet to go away for good.

Mobile courts will be operated across the country to ensure social distancing and mask use, Maleque said, adding: “People are moving carelessly despite knowing that they could prevent transmission by following health guidelines. We know how to prevent the coronavirus transmission but still we don’t follow the health regulations.”  

The minister called upon all not to hold social programs, including wedding ceremonies, to reduce the number of infections.

If the Covid-19 situation goes beyond control, it will affect the national economy and create problems for all, he added.

Covid situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh registered 16 more deaths and 2,187 new cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to Thursday morning.

With the latest figures, the Covid-19 fatalities climbed to 8,624 while the total infections to 564,939, according to a handout released by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The daily infection rate jumped to 10.45% from Wednesday’s 7.68% and the daily number of infected people – 2,187 – both recording the highest in this year.

The mortality rate remained static at 1.53% for the last six days, the DGHS informed.

The daily tally of Covid-19 fatalities showed a downtrend on Wednesday with 11 deaths, after showing it 26 for two consecutive days -- Tuesday and Monday.

Vaccine drive in Bangladesh

Bangladesh launched its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive on February 7.

By Tuesday, 4,580,391 people received the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

The second dose has to be taken between 8 and 12 weeks of the first one.

The government is providing the vaccine for free. It signed an agreement with India's Serum Institute for acquiring 30 million doses of the vaccine.

The institute will provide five million doses every month between January and June. Those who are 40 or above can register for getting the jab at www.surokkha.gov.bd as the on-spot registration system has been revoked.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the age limit for getting the vaccine will be revised when more doses will be available in the country.

Vaccine drive to continue

Bangladesh does not plan to suspend its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine although a cascading number of countries are doing such over reports of some recipients developing dangerous blood clots caused by the vaccine shot.

Noting the suspension in some European countries, Md Abdul Mannan, secretary, Health Care Division, said no unusual side effects have been reported so far after taking the vaccine in Bangladesh.

“Those who’ve taken the first dose of the vaccine so far are all in good health. So, Bangladesh has no plan to halt its vaccine drive,” he said adding: “I don’t see why some countries have chosen to suspend its use.”

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