No decision yet over lockdown: Health Minister


18th March, 2021 05:43:29 printer

No decision yet over lockdown: Health Minister

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

“Currently, we’ve no 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,” he said.

The Health Minister came up with the remarks while addressing a programme 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.

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 programmes, 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 said.

Covid situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh registered 16 more deaths and 2,187 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours till 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 percent from Wednesday’s 7.68 percent and the daily number of infected people –2,187–both recording highest in this year.

The mortality rate remained static at 1.53 percent for the last six days which was 1.54 percent in the past few weeks, the DGHS said.

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 as the on-spot registration system has been revoked.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque has 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 doing so over reports of some recipients developing dangerous blood clots.

Noting the suspension in some European countries, Md Abdul Mannan, Secretary, Health Care Division, said no unusual side effects have been reported 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, before adding: “I don’t see why some countries have chosen to suspend its use.”