Pointing to the steep rise in coronavirus cases in the country, Health Minister Zahid Malique on Sunday urged the people to strictly follow COVID-19 protocols such as wearing face masks and social distancing.

The number of covid-19 cases has started increasing again in the country. In these circumstances, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the health department is a little bit worried about the infection.

"We succeeded in controlling the corona," he said. But again the infection has started to increase. We are not panicked but worried."

The minister said these while addressing as the chief guest at the inaugural function of ICDDR, B Cholera Vaccine Program at Mohakhali in the capital on Sunday afternoon.

The minister said, "We have brought almost all the targeted people of the country under vaccination." The infection dropped below one percent. But now the infection rate has risen to 15 percent. We have taken all necessary measures to control the infection."

Several officials in the ministry and health department have also been affected by the Covid-19. So, we need to be aware and follow the health guidelines, added the minister.

Regarding the cholera vaccine, Malique said 2.3 million people in five cholera and diarrhea-prone areas in Dhaka would be vaccinated orally to prevent cholera and diarrhea. People of all ages will be given this vaccine.

Once thousands of people died of diarrhea and cholera but now the scenario has changed. The government and icddr, b have played important roles behind this.

The government has provided safe water and sanitation throughout the country and took preventive measures against these diseases as well as adequate treatment. From recent experience, we have been directed to start a cholera-diarrhea unit in every hospital in district and upazila level, he said.

Director General of the Health Directorate (DGHS) Dr. Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam said they have vaccinated against cholera in areas where infections have been found in the past. As of now, it is found in some areas of the capital. "So we have taken the initiative to vaccinate in these areas."

ICDDRB executive director Dr Tahamid Ahmed, Dr. Shafiqul Islam, senior scientist and acting director of the Infectious Diseases Division Dr Ferdousi Qadri were also present on the occasion.

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