Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday directed government high-ups to expedite the vaccination drive and resume all academic activities quickly.
At a secretary-level meeting, she said all students above 18 years should be covered by the immunisation programme as soon as possible, and all institutions should reopen when the virus transmission rate would be brought down to a safer level. And before that, imparting lessons through online platforms must begin.
"Children have become sick being confined to their homes. They are also getting sick mentally. All measures must be taken to reopen all educational institutions," the PM said.
She also insisted on ensuring consistency in the information of food production, demand and supply.
"On one hand, food production is rising, and on the other food is being imported to mitigate the deficit," she said.
Hasina asked secretaries to take measures so that no one slides down below the poverty line amid the pandemic.
While attending the meeting virtually from Gonobhaban, she reiterated the government's zero-tolerance policy against corruption.
Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam later briefed reporters at the Secretariat on the meeting.
The meeting participants talked about food security and agriculture, healthcare and Covid management, use of ICT to provide government services, education, the country's graduation from the status of least developed country to developing country and the materialisation of the election manifesto.
Climate change, implementation of development projects, land management and industrial development plans were discussed in detail.
Hasina instructed the secretaries to shun all corrupt practices and work to attain sustainable development goals and meet the targets of the 100-year Delta Plan.
"Government officials have got a pay hike. They are enjoying all facilities, including cars and housing. The government has given you a lot. Now, you give back to the people," a secretary quoted the PM as saying.
Secretary to the food ministry Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum in a presentation said the production of rice and wheat had surpassed 4 crore tonnes last fiscal year for the first time. Despite the record production, the food prices have been rising for the last two years.
Several secretaries, who attended the meeting, said the PM instructed the food ministry and the agriculture ministry to work together to ensure accuracy in food-related data.
The PM also expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of skills in implementing development projects. She stressed the need for feasibility studies before project formulation and intensifying monitoring during implementation.
Hasina also suggested avoiding extension of project periods and cost increase.
The prime minister said her government's main goal was to secure a better life for the grassroots people of the country.
"They would get rid of poverty and get opportunities of food, cloth, housing, treatment and education," she added.
At the press briefing, Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul said different sources had promised 21 crore doses of Covid vaccines.
Purchasing 6 crore shots had already been approved by the purchase committee.
About 3.10 crore doses have been purchased, Anwarul said, adding that no further trouble would arise involving vaccine supply.