January 24, 2021, 4:39 am

Staff Correspondent

2020-11-24 14:58:22 BdST

As Covid case surgesGovt plans new pandemic restrictions; no lockdowns

The government is set to impose new pandemic restrictions in certain sectors as the Covid-19 caseload continues to climb.

“It’s not possible to impose a full lockdown,” said Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader during a media briefing at the Secretariat on Tuesday.

Neither Pakistan nor India was able to do it, the minister said.

"The infections are increasing daily and the government is ready to tackle the crisis. The prime minister is personally monitoring the issue. Tough decisions will be made.”

The use of masks will be made mandatory from now, Quader said. Those without masks will be fined. The prime minister is “very serious about this issue”.

Asked whether the government is thinking about imposing another lockdown, Quader said: "There is no such timetable. A tough decision will be taken, if necessary, after observing the pandemic situation. Mask-wearing has been made mandatory for now.”

Prime Minister Hasina has been warning the people of a possible second Covid-19 wave and urging everyone to wear masks and properly follow health guidelines.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam on Monday said the administration would go tough on people who won’t wear masks.

The Prime Minister has asked the authorities concerned to carry out a larger campaign and force people to wear masks, he said.

The government has already implemented a ‘no mask, no service’ policy while mobile courts are being operated to ensure the use of masks.

Bangladesh has signed a deal for 30 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca.

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Monday said that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90 percent effective.

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