A lockdown will be imposed if the ongoing 11-point restrictions to curb further spread of Covid-19 and its Omicron variant are not maintained and followed properly, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque.
He made the announcement after inaugurating a dialysis unit and a CT scan machine at the Manikganj 250-Bed District Hospital around 11:30am on Saturday (15 January).
Speaking as the chief guest at the event, the health minister said that virus cases are rising alarmingly. "The pandemic situation of the country will become dangerous if the 11-point restrictions are not complied with."
"Another lockdown will cause a lot of harm to the country. We don't want to move in that direction.
"So everyone must ensure the health safety protocols in place to fight Covid-19. However, a lockdown will be imposed if the restrictions are not maintained and followed accordingly."
In an effort to slow down the virus transmission, the government last week imposed harsh curbs in the wake of the Omicron outbreak and the overall coronavirus situation in the country.
The Cabinet Division issued a notification in this regard on 10 January.
The fresh Covid-19 restrictions include –
• All kinds of public gatherings, including social programmes, political and religious events will remain suspended until further notice.
• People have to wear masks everywhere, including shops, shopping malls, markets, hotels, and restaurants. Otherwise, they will face legal action.
• The mask use should be ensured in all places, including offices and courts, and mobile court drives will be conducted to prevent the violation of health guidelines.
• People should show their Covid-19 vaccination certificates while taking food in restaurants and staying in residential hotels.
• Students above 12 would not be allowed at educational institutions without having Covid-19 vaccination certificate after a designated date to be fixed by the Education Ministry.
• Increasing the number of screening at all ports, including land-ports, airports, and maritime ports. The crewmembers of ships should not be allowed to go outside while arriving at a port while only truck drivers are allowed to enter land ports with trucks. Besides, visitors along with foreign-bound passengers should not be allowed to enter airports.
• Public transport, including buses, trains, and launches can operate at half of their capacities while drivers and helpers of all modes of vehicles should have Covid-19 vaccination certificates.
• Passengers coming from abroad should show vaccination certificates and should undergo Rapid Antigen tests upon arrival.
• Imams will make people aware of the health guidelines and the use of masks in all mosques during the "khutba" of Jumma prayers and the deputy commissioners and UNOs concerned will ensure that.
• Health and Family Welfare Ministry will take necessary steps to ensure vaccination and accelerate the activities of booster dose. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry will assist them in publicity.
• In the case of any special situation in any place, the local administration can take steps in consultation with the authorities concerned.
Bangladesh recorded its first virus cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18 of the last year.