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Minister retracts remarks on punishing unvaccinated people over 18 for going out

  • Published at 03:26 pm August 4th, 2021
covid-19 crowd
Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Health Ministry also says that it has made no such statement

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque has retracted part of his statement made on Tuesday, in which he had said that unvaccinated people over 18 will be punished if they are found roaming outside after August 10.

The withdrawn announcement came through a press release from his ministry on Wednesday.

Earlier on the day, the Health Ministry in another statement had also said: “Various television channels are reporting that ‘anyone over the age of 18 will not be allowed to leave their homes without getting vaccinated’, but this was not a statement made by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.”

Health Minister Zahid Maleque said no such decision or proposal was made or given from his ministry, said its public relations officer.

Bangladesh has seen a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths recently, forcing the government to impose a nationwide strict lockdown from July 13 to August 5.

On Tuesday, the lockdown was extended till August 10, with the government planning to reopen everything on a limited scale.

Also Read - Minister: Over-18s going out unjabbed will face consequences

The government is set to inoculate 10 million people between August 7 and 12 followed by the vaccination of 10 million every month till the end of the year.

For inoculating 10 million people in a week, authorities will have to administer 2.5 million doses a day, given that the drive is conducted four days a week.

Between August 7 and 12, anyone over 18 across the country will be able to walk into a designated vaccination centre and get the Covid-19 vaccine by showing their national identity cards.

The month of July has been the deadliest for Bangladesh with the country posting as many as 6,182 fatalities.

Until Tuesday, since March last year, Bangladesh recorded 1,296,093 Covid-19 cases and 21,397 deaths.

The country had launched its nationwide vaccination program on February 7. More than 14 million doses of four types of vaccines were administered until Tuesday afternoon, including the first and second shots.