Bangladesh's Covid-19 situation is worsening after a few lull months. According to government data, only 38% of Bangladesh's target population have been inoculated so far. Health Minister said the new restrictive measures might be imposed soon.

In the last week alone, the Covid-19 infection rate rose by more than 95%, and thus Bangladesh entered the new year of 2022 with little reason to celebrate.

Bangladesh saw a slow surge in new cases in the last week of December. But as the country entered the new year, the new cases started to rise sharply which has prompted the authorities to think of new restrictive measures in the coming days.

On Tuesday, Zahid Maleque, the health minister said to the reporters that they are thinking of imposing some restrictions in various sectors to curb the new wave driven by Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19 which was first recorded in South Africa followed by some other African nations.

"Public transport will carry 50% of its full capacity," Zahid Maleque told the reporters on Tuesday at the secretariat. "And the shopping will have to shut down within 8 p.m. every day instead of 10 p.m., and both shoppers and shopkeepers must have to wear a face mask. They will be fined if found otherwise."

However, a government notification is yet to be issued regarding the same as of January 4, 2022.

Bangladesh identified the first cases of Omicron in early December when two Bangladeshi women cricketers were found to be exposed to the virus. They had travelled to Bangladesh from Zimbabwe after taking part in an event of the International Cricket Council (ICC). A few more patients have also been tested positive for Omicron since.

According to the government data, a total of 38% of the target population have been inoculated fully.

Bangladesh has recently started administering booster jabs for people older than 60 and frontline health workers. The eligible persons will receive an SMS to take the vaccine from the centres where they got their earlier jabs if they passed at least six months after the last shot.

The health minister, on Monday, said that the unvaccinated people will not be allowed to dine outside the home, and those who want to dine at the restaurants will have to carry their vaccine certificates.

From early June 2021 to late August of the same year, Bangladesh suffered the most deadly wave of Covid-19, when most of the health facilities ran out of capacity. Many hospitals had no way but to turn away the patients who were suffering from respiratory problems.

There were reports of many patients dying of not getting proper treatment due to the overwhelming pressure on the health facilities around the country. Many hospitals were simply unable to accommodate patients who needed high-flow nasal cannula to meet their need for oxygen on time. The authority has taken sporadic steps to contain the virus during that period.

The positivity rate started coming down to under 10 from early September last year, and from then to late December, the virus situation was largely in check. And the mass vaccination programs have also helped a lot.

But the government is already starting to sweat over the new wave. While the health minister hinted at imposing new restrictions in the coming days, the education minister said schools might be shut once again if the situation worsens soon.

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