Terming nationwide lockdown as effective, Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said that the Covid-19 infection rate has come down from 24 per cent to 13 per cent.
"However, lockdown cannot be a longtime solution. We have to follow the health guidelines," Zahid Maleque said this at a press briefing organised at the BCPS premises in Mohakhali.
The minister said that data shows around 25 lakh people visited Cox's Bazar and other tourists' spots amid the pandemic.
Mentioning that people have been seen without masks at weddings, picnics, political rallies, the minister said, "We can give treatment to people in the hospitals but the health ministry cannot control the public. We work on a multi-sectoral approach. We can consult other ministries but cannot control other aspects like the border or roads or markets or planes."
About vaccines, the health minister said, "Vaccine is important. We have been working since May last year and we got a hold of vaccines before many countries. We paid for 3 crore vaccines but as you know we could not get those in time. But we are trying, Beximco is trying, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has talked to PM Modi about it. We are not sitting ducks."
"However, we should not think we are Covid-19 free just because we can have the vaccine. About a thousand people are dying everyday and 3-4 thousand are getting affected. We want to learn from other countries and our previous mistakes to avoid a third wave," the minister added.
To the reporters he said, "The frontliners deserve praise for their sacrifice. Do praise them even when you are criticising the ministry."