Health

COVID panel recommends ban on all gatherings to halt omicron

The panel also suggested conducting mobile courts if necessary to implement the government’s strategy to stem the recent surge in infections.

In a statement on Friday, NTAC chief Dr Md Shahidullah noted that coronavirus infections are rising at an alarming rate around the world, including in neighbouring India. The committee fears that cases may swell again in Bangladesh.

Emphasising the implementation of the government’s guidelines to curb infections, he said, “The committee has advised legal measures, such as running mobile courts, if necessary to keep the infection rate in check.

In addition, all steps must be taken to ensure that the masks are worn 100% correctly, hands are cleaned regularly and social distancing is maintained, according to the panel.

“All social gatherings like wedding ceremonies and fairs, and religious and political rallies should be stopped at this time.”

The national committee also called for meetings and workshops to be held online while urging the authorities to enforce health restrictions in educational institutions, and vaccinate everyone, including students, quickly.

In 2021, the delta variant of the coronavirus triggered a devastating second wave of COVID infections in Bangladesh. But as the pathogen finally began trending down across the globe after vaccination and other measures came to fruition, a new variant, omicron, was identified in South Africa towards the end of the year.

Omicron is spreading rapidly across the globe, pushing the number of confirmed COVID cases worldwide past 300 million.

The number of patients with the omicron variant has crossed 3,000 in the neighbouring country of India. Bangladesh has also reported 20 cases of omicron.

See also  Rapid testing for omicron: is a nose swab enough?

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