Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon countrymen to help the government in containing the Covid-19 onslaught by maintaining health guidelines such as wearing masks, avoiding mass gatherings and refraining from going outside unnecessarily in view of the sudden surge in the coronavirus infections.
"We have to bring the situation under control as we did earlier immediately after the coronavirus breakout. We are trying to bring the virus under control. But, assistance from the people is necessary to contain it," she told parliament while speaking on a condolence motion on Sylhet-3 lawmaker Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury, who died recently.
The Leader of the House said a sudden surge in the coronavirus infection rate has been seen in Bangladesh and elsewhere across the world, adding, "The coronavirus (infection) has increased, particularly on March 29, 30 and 31, as high as couldn't be imagined."
She said the country is witnessing the sudden surge in the Covid-19 infection as the people are ignoring the health guidelines since vaccination against the virus started as they are thinking that nothing would happen to them.
"I repeatedly told people to wear masks and follow the health guidelines even after taking the jabs against coronavirus. But, maintaining the health protocol has been stopped," she continued.
The prime minister reiterated her call to the countrymen to put masks on faces which she described as the most important thing and follow other health guidelines to remain protected from the lethal virus.
She said it has been estimated that the people attending marriage ceremonies and going to tourist places for outing mainly contributed to the sudden surge in the Covid-19 infection rate.
The prime minister called upon all to avoid mass gatherings and stop going out home unnecessarily and arrange marriage ceremonies on a limited scale following the health guidelines.
"After returning home from offices or other places, take steam of hot water by covering heads with a piece of cloth which can work effectively against the Covid-19," she suggested.
She also suggested taking mustard oil in the nose before leaving the house, saying that she has been using it since the Covid-19 onset.
The prime minister said her government has already issued some directives to effectively fight the coronavirus onslaught.
She stressed the need for making people aware about maintaining the directives to check the sudden surge of the Covid-19 and asked all not to mix with people unnecessarily.
She described both Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury and her political adviser HT Imam as politically conscious persons and recalled their contributions to nation building activities.
On Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury, she said that he was elected lawmaker in every national election with a huge margin from his constituency as he was keen to work for the people, adding, "Sylhet has been affected politically at his demise."
About HT Imam, the premier said he was a cabinet secretary since the emergence of the People's Republic of Bangladesh in 1975 and was a politically conscious person.
The prime minister also recalled the contribution of former state minister Mohammad Aman Ullah (four-time MP from Mymensingh-11), Monsur Ahmed (two-time MP from Satkhira-4) and Abdul Majid Mandal (MP in 10th Parliament from Siranganj-5).
Regarding Barrister Moudud Ahmed (six-time MP from Noakhali-5 and Bogura-7), the premier said Moudud had talent, if it was used for the welfare of the people, it could have been better.
She said Moudud had never been appointed as a lawyer in the Agartola Conspiracy Case though he had claimed so.
On the death of Bangla daily Janakantha editor Mohammad Atikullah Khan Masud, the prime minister said he had, at his own initiative, taken a brave role in collecting information regarding inhuman tortures of Awami League leaders and workers by the BNP after it assumed office through the 2001 farcical election though many newspapers dared not to do it at that time.
"It's a matter of regret that the journalist community has lost a brave person and a good warrior at the demise of Atikullah Khan Masud," she opined.
Parliament unanimously adopted a condolence motion. Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury moved the condolence motion in the House at the beginning of the 12th session of the 11th Parliament.