The Covid-19 National Technical Advisory Committee has recommended mandatory institutional quarantine for passengers arriving from abroad and waiving coronavirus test fee.
They reached decision on several issues at the 25th online meeting of the committee which was held under the chairmanship of Prof Dr Mohammad Sahidullah on Monday, read a press release.
The committee expressed satisfaction with the government for keeping the passengers arriving from the United Kingdom in the institutional quarantine for 14 days.
However afterwards, it was decided to test for Covid-19 after four days and send them home in quarantine if the result comes out negative.
As the gestation period of this disease is 14 days, so there is a risk that they can be infected at any time within these 14 days and risk spreading the virus. In addition, the new strain of Covid 19-has spread to other countries. So, the committee recommended bringing passengers arriving from all countries under the 14-day institutional quarantine system, not only the United Kingdom.
At the meeting, it was mentioned that in order to diagnose asymptomatic infections, it is necessary to bring the people at risk of infection under testing. At present, a fee of Tk 100 is charged for the test at the centres. In order to make the public interested in taking the test, the committee recommended waiving the test fee.
It was also suggested to keep the newly promoted junior consultants in the existing hospitals by promoting them till the trained manpower is ready.
The committee asked to expedite the administrative process to ensure that the physicians and health workers engaged in the treatment of Covid-19 patients receive the announced financial assistance.
Then the advisory committee shared views on the vaccine plan by the Directorate General of Health Services.
They called for the coordination with all agencies including city corporations to streamline vaccine management in the big crowded cities such as Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet.
The need to organise a media campaign to motivate the people to register was also expressed. The committee deems it necessary to monitor the registration process and make arrangements for the poor and marginalised people and those who could not register.
They also mentioned the vaccine recipients should be monitored for at least 30 minutes after vaccination. In case of severe side effects, treatment should be arranged at the hospital or health centre.
Another recommendation by the committee was to administer antibody test after the second jab to ensure the efficacy of the vaccine. Pharmacovigilance requires allocation of funds and other measures as per the proposal, they said.
They also discussed about the necessity to build the capacity to make vaccines in the country and recommended to build such a system in government institutions.
The members of the National Advisory Committee, Director General of the Department of Health, Prof ABM Khurshid Alam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Md Mahibur Rahman, Protocol Officer, Ministry of External Affairs Amanul Haque discussed various issues at the meeting.