Covid surge: Mobile courts to ensure mask use soon


Dhaka, Nov 16: The government has asked the administration to strengthen the mobile court operation and enforce laws to ensure the use of masks, also in the capital, to check the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’ve already asked them [admin] to strengthen the mobile court operation or law enforcement further in different places of the capital. Hope, it’ll start within the next two to three days,” said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam.

He was briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting on Monday.

The Cabinet issued instructions to take a tougher stance to check the Covid-19 as its infection rate has started increasing slightly, he said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the Cabinet meeting, held at the Bangladesh Secretariat, joining from her official residence Ganobhaban virtually.

‘No mask no service’

The directives came as people are largely reluctant about wearing face-masks despite several calls from the government to take precautionary measures in the wake of a fresh surge of the Covid-19 infection rate in many countries across the world during the winter season.

The government in October last introduced ‘No mask no service’ policy in all the government and private offices.

The government has also issued an instruction to all the offices and institutions saying that masks must be used in all institutions, haats, markets, shopping malls, schools, and social and religious gatherings.

On November 2, the Prime Minister at the Cabinet meeting directed the authorities concerned to strictly implement the “no mask no service” policy at every government and private offices to prevent the Covid-19 infection and check the possible 2nd wave of the pandemic during the winter season.

But people are still showing reluctance about using masks and other health codes defying the government’s call and orders on different excuses.

The Cabinet approved the draft of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in order to bring maximum number of people under the financial accounting system and arrange the financial benefits for them, said Khandker Anwarul Islam.

Both the Bengali and English versions of the draft were cleared at the meeting. The five-year strategy is being taken for 2021-2025 to improve the life and livelihood of people, particularly the poor, by bringing under all sorts of institutional financial services, he said.

Besides, the Cabinet endorsed the draft of national nuclear and radiological emergencies preparedness and response plan in order to ensure safety measures for the Rooppur nuclear power plant, said the Cabinet Secretary.

No country can open such a nuclear plant without the response plan, according to the guidelines of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he said.

The Cabinet meeting also approved the ratification proposal of the draft of the ‘Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters’ to be signed between Bangladesh and Turkey, he said.

At the meeting, the Foreign Minister said many Bangladeshi products do not have access to the Turkey market due to such an agreement.

The Cabinet Secretary said the country’s export to Turkey declined by more than US$ 100 million in the last two and three years. If the agreement is signed, the complimentary products from Bangladesh will get advantage in the Turkey market, he added.