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Friday, March 31, 2023

Masks mandatory, buses to run at 50% seating capacity: Health Minister

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Public buses will operate at half of their capacities while shops and shopping malls will have to be closed by 8 pm instead of 10 pm, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday.

“Passengers won’t be allowed to travel in public transport without masks, and passengers will be fined if found without masks, ” Maleque said while talking to reporters at the Secretariat in Dhaka.

Deputy Commissioners have been asked to enforce the directives within seven days, said the minister.

“Some patients infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have been detected in the country. In the last two weeks, the number of Covid patients was 250 on average but yesterday the country recorded 675 patients, which is very alarming,” he said.

Besides, shops and shopping malls will be allowed to keep open till 8 pm instead of 10 pm, and no one will be allowed in shops and shopping malls without masks, said Maleque.

“Both the shop owners and customers will be fined if they defy the directives,” he said.

The government is not considering any lockdown in the country right now and it will think about it if the infection rate goes up further, said the health minister.

Measures will be taken to strengthen screening along the border, he said. “Some 20,000 hospital beds have been kept ready. We’re thinking about our future steps if the number of patients rises.”

Zahid Maleque on Monday said the government is going to intensify the preventive measures to rein in the transmission of the deadly virus.

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