Dhaka, Jan 04: Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases, the government is going to put some restrictions, including plying public transport at their half capacities and closing shops and markets by 8pm, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday.
“Public buses will operate at half of their capacities while shops and shopping malls will have to be closed by 8 pm instead of 10 pm,” Maleque said while talking to reporters at the Secretariat.
Deputy Commissioners have been asked to enforce the directives within seven days, he added.
“Some patients infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have been detected in the country. In the last two weeks, the number of Covid patients was 250 on average but yesterday the country recorded 675 patients, which is very alarming,” he said.
Maleque also asked people to remain more careful. “Passengers won’t be allowed to travel in public transport without masks, and passengers will be fined if found without masks.”
Besides, shops and shopping malls will be allowed to keep open till 8 pm instead of 10 pm, and no one will be allowed in shops and shopping malls without masks, said Maleque.
“Both the shop owners and customers will be fined if they defy the directives,” he said.
No lockdown now
The government is not considering any lockdown in the country right now and it will think about it if the infection rate goes up further, said the health minister.
Measures will be taken to strengthen screening along the border, he said. “Some 20,000 hospital beds have been kept ready. We’re thinking about our future steps if the number of patients rises.”
Zahid Maleque on Monday said the government is going to intensify the preventive measures to rein in the transmission of the deadly virus.
“Unvaccinated people won’t be allowed to take food in restaurants. Only those who’ve received vaccines can enter restaurants showing their vaccine certificates,” the minister told reporters after an inter-ministerial meeting on the issue of new Covid variant Omicron at the Secretariat.
He warned that restaurants will be fined if they defy this rule.