85 pc unvaccinated people being infected by COVID-19: Maleque

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Dhaka, Jan 25: Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday said nearly 85 percent unvaccinated people are being infected by new COVID-19 variant Omicron in the country.

“We have so far vaccinated 14 crore people…. three crore more people have remained unvaccinated,” he told a virtual meeting here, an official release said.

State Minister for the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman, Secretary of Health Education Division Saiful Islam Badal, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam and heads of different relevant organizations, among others, joined the virtual meeting.

Bangladesh Private Medical College Association organized the meeting on “Preparedness and doings of handling COVID-19 variant Omicron”.

The health minister said among the three crore or 30 million unvaccinated people, most of them are workers of factories, transport sector and workers of shops and small business establishments.

The government is taking all necessary steps to vaccinate the three crore people within a shortest possible time to contain the outbreak of new South African variant Omicron.

Maleque said the new Omicron variant of coronavirus is spreading fast across the country.  Although the government has issued 11-point restrictions and subsequently another five-point restrictions, people are traveling rampantly ignoring the health rules, he added.

The minister urged all to follow the health rules including wearing facemasks to protect themselves from the deadly virus.

Bangladesh successfully has handled the two previous waves of COVID-19 as it has taken effective measures including expansion of vaccination programme, he added.

Bangladesh today (January 25) reported 16,033 Covid-19  cases while it posted 32.40 percent positive cases as 49,492 samples were tested in the past 24 hours, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said in its routine daily statement.