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Take preparations for possible second Covid wave: PM

She expresses concern over reluctance about mask use

| Updated: September 22, 2020 10:09:54

Take preparations for possible second Covid wave: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday directed the administration to take preparations in advance to face the field-level situation if the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic hits the country in winter alongside surge in cold-related diseases.

Expressing concern over the reluctance about face mask use, she also directed all concerned to take measures for ensuring the use of masks in a larger way to protect people from Covid-19 infections.

The Prime Minister made the directives while presiding over the Cabinet meeting held virtually. She joined the meeting through a videoconference from Ganabhaban, while other cabinet members were connected from Bangladesh Secretariat, reports UNB.

“Today a long discussion was held on Covid…the Prime Minister has given us instructions for taking preparations over how to face the field-level situation, if the second wave (of Covid-19) comes,” said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at a press briefing after the meeting.

The directives came as the Covid-19 is resurfaced in many countries, particularly the cold countries and local experts also suggested that there should be preparations to fight the Covid in the coming winter, he said.

“We’ve to remain alert and aware using the experiences that we’ve already gathered. If so, it’ll be easier for us to face the situation in the case of the second wave,” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying.

Sheikh Hasina said though it (the second wave of Covid) is an uncertain matter, there should be preparations for tackling it.

Khandker Anwarul Islam said the Cabinet Division has already convened a meeting for Tuesday (Sept 22) to discuss the Covid-19 preparations.

Besides, the Prime Minister asked for taking precautionary measures and preparations to provide healthcare services timely as many people may suffer from cold-related diseases like pneumonia, influenza or fever with the advent of winter at the end of October or mid-November, he said.

She expressed concern that if the masks are not used massively, it will be difficult to check the pandemic and experts say that the use of masks can protect people from Covid-19 infections in the 95pc-98pc cases.

The Cabinet Secretary asked the media to motivate people to use masks. An instruction has already been given to the Religious Affairs Ministry to ask the imams (cleric) of the country’s mosques to announce during Zahr or Magrib prayers that the use of masks is mandatory for all, he added.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister asked everyone to take preparations to fight the Covid-19 in the upcoming winter expressing apprehension that the Covid-19 situation may deteriorate to some extent during the next winter season.

Bangladesh has so far recorded some 350,000 cases with nearly 5,000 fatalities. The first cases were reported on March 8 and the first death on March 18. So far, some 255,000 patients have recovered, pushing up the recovery rate to 73.23 per cent.

Coronavirus cases were first reported in China in December last year. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a pandemic in March.

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