Amid the second wave of Coronavirus in the country, it is suicidal for people to rush back to their ancestral homes for the Eid holidays, warned Health and Family Welfare minister, Zahid Maleque, on Monday.
"The way people are flocking at the ferry terminals avoiding all health regulations is a suicidal decision," the minister said, attending a virtual meeting with divisional officials of the ministry.
Every day thousands of people are losing their lives in the neighbouring country of India due to a new variant of Covid-19, Maleque said, adding that this has also spread to Nepal and is wreaking havoc.
The new variant was also found in Bangladesh recently he said. "People of rural areas will be infected massively if people headed home continue to leave the capital in huge crowds."
People in towns are commuting carelessly. They are travelling in overcrowded vehicles and flocking to shopping malls in the big divisional cities, including Dhaka.
If it continues like this, a dangerous situation like India and Nepal may happen in the country after Eid, said the minister. Therefore, concerned officials in charge of each border area have to work hard. All people, including families of people coming from India in border areas, must be tested for Covid infection, quickly and mandatorily.
Emergency measures must be taken to prevent vehicles from crossing the border into their respective districts, he added.
The health minister also gave directives to ensure the quarantine of driver-helpers arriving from India.
During the meeting, the health minister gave directions to the divisional commissioners, range DIG, deputy commissioners, superintendent of police, civil surgeon and other concerned officials of four divisions -- Rangpur, Sylhet, Khulna, and Chittagong, on what to do to curb the new Indian variant. He also listened to their opinions in this regard.
The alarming Coronavirus transmission surge in the country may get worse after Eid-ul-Fitr, warned Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) spokesman, Nazmul Islam, on Sunday.
Eid-ul-Fitr, the largest religious festival in the country is likely to be celebrated after four days.
However, the situation is different since last year as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to rattle the world, specially countries in South Asia of late.
Earlier, the government enforced the lockdown from April 6, which was later extended in several phases in the face of a surge in Covid-19 infections in the country.
Most recently, the lockdown was extended until 16 May as the second pandemic wave hit the country.