Corona vaccine for 4.5cr people by June

Get tough on use of face masks: PM

Staff Correspondent

22 December, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said Bangladesh will get 9 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine by May or June next for inoculating 4.5 crore people against the coronavirus.

“Three crore doses of vaccine for 1.5 crore people will arrive in the country from the end of January or first week of February while another six crore doses for 3 crore people by May or June,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam quoted the prime minister as telling the weekly Cabinet meeting.

The prime minister joined the meeting held at the conference room of the Cabinet Division virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.

While briefing reporters after the meeting, the Cabinet secretary said training for the vaccination is underway and the EPI vaccination chain will be involved massively in the job.

He said the prime minister once again directed for strictly ensuring the use of face masks outdoors to stem the second wave of coronavirus. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina again laid emphasis on using face masks.”

She also asked the authorities concerned to get tough so that all adhere to health guidelines, the Cabinet secretary said. “She (PM) directed all to implement the ‘no mask, no service’ policy strictly in all offices.”

Sheikh Hasina urged the local administration and public representatives to play a pro-active role in ensuring health guidelines, he added.

In addition, she directed for taking strict measures to enforce social distancing, Anwarul said.

Mentioning that the coronavirus situation has been worsening in different countries, the prime minister laid emphasis on taking stern measures to curb the virus, he said.

Replying to a query, the Cabinet secretary said the government is now thinking only about Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine but it will not say ‘no’ to any other vaccine which will get the approval of the World Health Organization (WHO). “Our technical committee will approve the vaccines,” he added.

Earlier, the Cabinet approved the draft of Bangladesh Agricultural

Good Practices Policy, 2020 to ensure safe and quality agricultural products by applying good practices in the entire production-to-consumption chain.

The policy was brought to exercise the good practices at all stages, including breeding, collection, preservation, marketing and consumption, said the Cabinet secretary.

The major objectives of the policy are to ensure sustainable production of the safe and nutritious crops, production of environment-tolerant crops and safety and welfare of agricultural workers.

Besides, the meeting approved in principle the draft of Kurigram Agricultural University Bill, 2020 to establish the country’s seventh agricultural university aiming to develop agriculture in the northern districts through research.

“It’ll be a prototype of the existing agricultural universities,” Anwarul said, adding that now there are 153 universities -- 46 public and 107 private -- in the country.

The Cabinet also approved the draft speech of President Abdul Hamid to be delivered at the first session of Parliament in 2021.

The Cabinet secretary said 10 major issues will get importance in the President’s speech.