When three dozen countries worldwide, including neighbouring India, have reported omicron infections, Bangladesh's Health Minister Zahid Maleque has urged countrymen not to worry about the new coronavirus variant, which was first detected in South Africa.
"There is no need to panic about Omicron, a situation requiring border closure or lockdown has not been created yet," the minister said while inspecting a newly constructed training institute for physicians and officers in Savar today.
He further said, "It is better for expatriates to not come to the country at this moment. They should not return here being infected with Omicron; they have responsibilities as well. The families of the expatriates must be kept safe, the country must also be kept safe. So stay safe wherever you are currently."
The newest variant, which is deemed highly contagious and capable of undergoing frequent mutations, has pushed many countries to revert the relaxed restrictions to their previous state of stern travel curb.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Government has made 14 days institutional quarantine mandatory for those returning from seven African countries.
However on 30 November this year, Zahid Maleque said that some 240 people, who returned to Bangladesh from South Africa recently, could not be traced.
Earlier in February last year, the health minister also urged not to fear about coronavirus. Pandemic broke out afterwards. The virus has killed 27,995 people and infected 15,77,246 in the country so far.