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Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka University dorms reopen after 18 months

Students allowed to enter after producing vaccination certificates and valid ID cards

Update : 05 Oct 2021, 02:12 PM

Dhaka University reopened its residential halls after an 18-month-long pandemic-induced closure on Tuesday.

The decision to reopen the dorms follows a steady drop in Covid-19 cases and deaths in the country.

Final year students of both honours and master’s courses who have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine started returning to their dormitories after the main entrances were opened at around 8am on the day.

They were allowed to enter after producing vaccination certificates and student IDs.

The authorities welcomed the students with flowers, candies and masks while adhering to hygiene rules.

Dhaka University officials welcome students back to dorms with flowers on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Prof Abdul Bashir, convener of the Provost Standing Committee, hoped that students of other academic years will also be able to return to their dormitories soon, media reports quoted him.

Meanwhile, Vice-chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman dropped by Bijoy Ekattor Hall and Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall to oversee the return of the students.

After visiting Bijoy Ekattor hall around 10:30am, the vice-chancellor (VC) told reporters: “Today is a very happy day for us, just like Eid day. The way everyone is welcoming the students with sincerity is highly admirable.

“Maybe in a day or two a decision will be taken democratically to return to normal academic activities,” he said.

He hopped that the university would able to recover the losses from the Covid-19 closure this year.

As some students could not be vaccinated due to not having National Identity Card (NID), he said: “A booth will be set up at the TSC on October 7. All the students of the university can get their NID from there.”

A DU official takes a student's temperature before allowing her to enter Ruqayyah Hall on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Prof Akhtaruzzaman also sought help from all active student bodies to finally end the “gono room” culture, in which many students are crammed in one room arranged by a  political student body.

He said this culture should come to an end as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina does not like it.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina does not want any lacking in the living standards of students. She also does not want any adverse environment to be present. She has advised me on several occasions to address the issue. Now, we need help from all stakeholders,” the VC added.

In preparation for reopening its dorms, DU started inoculating students, teachers, officers and staffers at its Medical Centre on Monday. Altogether 265 Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered on the first day of the temporary campaign.

The campaign for the second dose is scheduled to begin on November 1.

Earlier on September 28, the Provost Standing Committee and the Academic Council made the decision to reopen dorms at a syndicate meeting, with the DU VC in the chair.

The dorms had remained shut since March 20 last year following the outbreak of Covid-19 in Bangladesh.

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