Minister withdraws comment on penalising unvaccinated 18 plus people for commuting

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque has retracted his previous claims that travel by unvaccinated adults after the end of lockdown would be deemed to be a “punishable offence”.

“All citizens above the age of 18 will eventually get the vaccine,” the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday.

“But Minister of Liberation War Affairs AKM Mozammel Haque is withdrawing the portion of his statement that the media reported that ‘after Aug 11, travelling by an unvaccinated adult would be considered a punishable offence’.”

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had also issued a statement to the media on Wednesday, saying that it had not recommended such a policy, reports bdnews24.com. 

“Various television channels are saying that ‘anyone over the age of 18 will not be allowed to travel outside without a vaccine’, but this was not a comment made by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” it said.

High-level government officials had met at the Secretariat on Tuesday to discuss the current state of the COVID pandemic and possible next steps. During the meeting, it was decided that the ongoing lockdown would be extended by five days to Aug 10.

It was also decided that shops, businesses and offices would be allowed to reopen on Aug 11 and public transport would resume on a limited scale.

Following the meeting, Liberation War Affairs Minister Mozammel Haque told the media:

“If, after Aug 11, someone over the age of 18 travels without having received a vaccine, it shall be considered a punishable offence. Anyone travelling by road or river, by car, motorcycle, autorickshaw, bus, train, whatever transport, must have received the vaccine. We will make the process simple and prioritise.”

There would also be opportunities for people to get the vaccine on Aug 7, Aug 8 and Aug 9, before stores open, he had said.