The National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 spread has suggested that the government do not set up cattle markets in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Chattogram ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha.
The committee said the virus spread is yet to come under control and expressed concern over free public movement in the four districts.
The technical body – formed to advise the government on curbing coronavirus pandemic and on improving the quality of medical service at hospitals – put forward the suggestions at its 14th meeting on Friday.
Recommending strict restrictions on free movement, the committee proposed that the government initiate digital marketplaces for sacrificial cattle trade.
Besides, it noted that cattle markets at other places could be set up by following health safety guidelines properly.
"We are suggesting to slaughter sacrificial animals at designated places out of cities instead of at homes," said a press release of the committee jointly signed by committee chief Dr Mohammod Shahidullah and Meerjady Sabrina Flora.
On top of this, the national committee experts advocated for setting up cattle markets on open ground where there are enough spaces to maintain social distancing.
It also discouraged the elderly people from going to the markets; recommended keeping separate entry and exit routes for the trading spots and mandating face masks for all at the markets.
To increase the number of tests and its quality, the committee thinks that more attention should be given to the capacity building of testing facilities rather than to increasing the number of labs.
Moreover, speeding up Covid-19 testing processes was also recommended. The committee suggested that the Directorate General of Drug Administration approve antigen-based testing so that remote areas could be brought under coronavirus detection.
The committee recommended collecting RT-PCR kits from multiple sources to avert any supply crunch. Besides, it advocated for collecting effective and low-cost testing kits.
The committee called for easing sample collection of the older people, and collecting their samples from home if possible.
Suggestions were made to ease sufferings over access to public healthcare and to ensure medical facilities for all. The health directorate was suggested to update information about the number of available beds on the website regularly.
Hospitals also could have displayed the number of available beds at their entrances, said the committee, emphasising introducing an inter-hospital network so that patients' rush can be equally squared on the government facilities.
The committee also advised that transparency and quality be maintained in medical equipment purchase.
The committee welcomed the ongoing research on vaccine discovery carried out by a private company.
"But the process must have due approvals from the government, Bangladesh Medical Research Council and Directorate General of Drug Administration before going for production," the committee noted.