People without masks in public places will be punished, says cabinet secy
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic may begin in late October or early November.
Thus, all those concerned need to be prepared to tackle the outbreak by using the experience gathered till now in the fight against coronavirus, added the premier during Monday’s cabinet meeting.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam disclosed the development to the media after the meeting.
The cabinet secretary said: “An inter-ministerial meeting will take place on Tuesday regarding the preparations to combat the second wave of the deadly virus.
“The meeting also focused on creating awareness regarding the importance of wearing masks.”
He said: “Nowadays, worshippers without masks are seen praying in the mosques. Therefore, the prime minister has instructed the Ministry of Religious Affairs to raise awareness over the matter.
“It is essential to ensure that the devotees wear a mask during the Zuhr and Maghrib prayers. They will also have to be encouraged to maintain that during the other prayers. They will have to be encouraged in such a way so that later on they create awareness about wearing masks to others.”
He said: ‘Recently I went to a market and saw a lot of people were not wearing a mask.”
The cabinet secretary hinted that the government is planning on conducting drives in crowded places and public areas, such as shopping malls, to ensure that everyone wears a mask and punish those who do not.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina virtually presided over the meeting from her official residence Ganabhaban, attended by several ministers and the cabinet secretary himself.
The prime minister's directives came a day after she said that the coronavirus crisis may escalate in Bangladesh during the winter, and urged officials to start making preparations immediately.
“Winter is coming. The situation may deteriorate to some extent. But we have to start taking preparations right now,” UNB quoted her saying on Sunday at a Ganabhaban event for receiving donations for the premier’s Relief and Welfare Fund.
Everyone in the country has been working with utmost sincerity to fight Covid-19 pandemic, Sheikh Hasina said, before adding: “That’s why we’ve been able to face it.”
Appreciating her call, experts said that Bangladesh should start taking preparations considering measures to tackle the crisis, fearing infections may rise in the upcoming winter season.