Bangladesh may extend the duration of the Ekushey Book Fair, which will kick off on February 15, for two weeks, if Covid-19 cases decline.
The decision depends on the Covid-19 infection rate, State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid said after a meeting with the fair management committee at Bangla Academy on Wednesday, reports bdnews24.com.
“The fair was delayed this year due to a surge in COVID cases. We have decided to hold it for two weeks for now,” he added.
The publishers had previously called on authorities to hold the book fair from Feb 15 to Mar 17. The government decided to hold the fair from Feb 15-28 amid the spread of the highly-contagious omicron variant.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the fair from a virtual event. The authorities have yet to determine the closing date of the fair. The decision will be disclosed after Feb 28, the tentative closing date.
This year, people will be allowed to visit the fair venue from 2 pm to 9 pm every day. The gates will open at 11 am on Fridays.
Unvaccinated people involved in the book fair have been told to receive their COVID-19 vaccine doses at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital centres.
“Everyone involved in the fair must maintain health protocols. The fair authorities have been asked to take steps to vaccinate unvaccinated publishers, stall owners and salespersons.”