Most hotels and resorts in tourist places across the country are almost 100% booked
With tourist spots, resorts as well as recreation centres in the country set to open with 50% capacity from Thursday, experts have urged the government to shut them down again if they get too crowded.
They also fear that the infection rate will go up if huge numbers of people start gathering at the holiday destinations without following health safety rules.
The government has allowed tourist locations to reopen even though the infection rate is still above 17%. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a situation is under control when the infection rate is below 5%.
“The authorities should strictly control the crowd. Otherwise, we should recommend a shutdown of the recreation centres again as we are still in a critical situation,” said Dr Tarek Hussain, National Covid-19 Public Health Advisor at Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
“People should always be careful during travelling or visiting a tourist place as we do not want the tourism spots to become hotspots again,” he added.
Hundreds of thousands of people had earlier rushed to Cox’s Bazar and other tourist places once the government allowed tourism spots to operate between December 2020 and March this year.
The daily infection rate was down to below 3% in February but climbed up gradually from March. Huge numbers of people visiting the tourist spots can be attributed to the increase in infections.
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, a maximum number of hotels and resorts in tourist places in the country are almost 100% booked.
“We have learned that a maximum number of hotels, resorts have already been booked as services are opening from Thursday. We have given directives to everyone to follow health guidelines and rules set by the government,’ said Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Md Mahmud Ali.
“Tourist spots and recreation centres are going to reopen for the sake of people’s lives and livelihood. People should diligently follow health guidelines to curb the transmission as lockdown could not be enforced in the long run,” said Prof Nazrul Islam, former VC of BSMMU.
All public transport resumes
Additionally, all public transport by road, rail, and rivers are going to be allowed to resume operations from Thursday. In the past week, only 50% of public transports were allowed to operate.
State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said: “The government will observe the situation. Restrictions and lockdowns will be imposed again if Covid-19 infections rise in the country.”
With the nationwide inoculation campaign continuing, Bangladesh lifted most lockdown restrictions on August 11, allowing offices and malls to reopen.