There has been an alarming increase in the transmission of Covid-19 and the situation will be dire if the government’s 11-point restriction is not adhered to, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said yesterday.
“The government is not imposing lockdown because it hurts the country,” he said at the inauguration of a CT scan and dialysis unit at Manikganj Sadar hospital yesterday.
He made the comment a day after Covid cases passed the 4,000 mark – the highest since August 26 last year.
According to health officials, the latest spike is caused by the highly transmissible variant of Omicron.
Sanitary guidelines are not being properly adhered to in many places, including the Dhaka International Trade Fair, Maleque said, adding, “It is a matter of concern… There is no substitute for wearing masks. We have to wear masks if we want to avoid contracting the disease.”
Urging everyone to get vaccinated, he said: “Everyone needs to be vaccinated. We have no shortage of vaccines and about 14.25 million people, including 70 lakh school children, have already been bitten.”
The government guidelines, in effect since last Thursday, include: People must wear masks in all public places, including shops, malls and restaurants; vaccination certificates must be presented in restaurants or hotels; trains, buses and launches must operate at half capacity; and all kinds of social, political and religious gatherings and gatherings will remain suspended until further notice.