Tuesday, 18 January, 2022

Avoid travelling to India unless absolutely essential

Says Doraiswami

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 10 January, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Amid the rise of Omicron infections, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami has urged Bangladeshi citizens to avoid travelling to India unless absolutely essential.

However, he said that India will continue to keep visa services and borders open for now.

The envoy said they are not only discouraging Bangladeshis but also requesting all Indian citizens living abroad to avoid visiting India now. Doraiswami also mentioned that seven days' quarantine was being brought in from January 11 for all travellers from abroad, including their own citizens returning to India from anywhere.

He made the remarks while talking to reporters after taking a booster dose at Sheikh Russel Gastroliver Institute & Hospital in Dhaka on Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, around 160 diplomats received booster doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

While talking to reporters after the formal inauguration of booster Covid-19 vaccine doses for the foreign diplomats in Dhaka, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen Momen also discouraged travels through the Bangladesh-India border on health safety grounds.

“Even, there’re travels through borders; there should be more health safety measures. Hopefully, we’ll be able to protect our people,” he added.

The foreign minister also urged everyone to abide by Covid-19 health and safety measures and said that the government has no plan for a lockdown at this moment.

"We have come to the conclusion after having a discussion in the inter-ministerial meeting that another lockdown will be harmful to the country's economy."

"I also feel the same," he said, adding that the country has enough vaccines in hand, including 31 crore vaccine doses lined up for procurement.

Over 7 crore people in Bangladesh have received the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine till the date.

Momen said he is delighted that they could arrange this special vaccination programme for all diplomats in Dhaka and their dependents.

"We're very thankful that so many countries came forward and have been donating vaccine doses under the COVAX facility," the foreign minister said, adding that the government has a plan to cover 80 percent people under the Covid-19 vaccination programme, including students.

Momen said the government is trying its best but still has a long way to go as a new variant Omicron has emerged.

"So far we're okay but we must protect ourselves. I would ask everyone to maintain health safety measures as much as you can," he added.

Meanwhile, Ambassador of the European Union to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for arranging the booster vaccinations for the diplomatic community.

"The EU is proud to be supporting the vaccination of the Bangladesh population, with Team Europe delivering more than 10 million vaccines and EIB loan coming on-stream soon," the Ambassador tweeted.