Bangladesh imposes tough restrictions as virus cases surge amid omicron fears


The government has announced a set of new pandemic restrictions, including a vaccine-certificate requirement for dining in restaurants, amid fears of the spread of omicron, a highly contagious COVID-19 variant.
The Cabinet Division in a notice on Monday banned all open-air gatherings, including social, political and religious events.

It ordered buses and trains to operate at half capacity. The new rules will be effective from Jan 13.

People must also show vaccine certificates to stay in hotels in line with the new rules.

The government will deploy mobile courts nationwide to enforce mandatory mask rules and other health protocols at public places.
Unvaccinated students above 12 years will not be allowed to join in-person classes or exams.

The government ordered the authorities to strengthen the screening of passengers at airports, land ports and maritime ports.

Crew members will not be allowed to leave ships while only drivers will be allowed to enter the country on trucks through the land ports.

All incoming passengers must show vaccine certificates and rapid antigen test results for entry through the airports.

Imams will have to raise awareness about following the coronavirus health rules, such as physical distancing, during sermons of Friday prayers.
The health ministry has been ordered to ramp up activities to raise awareness about the booster shots of the vaccines with the help of the information and broadcasting ministry.

The local authorities can take steps in case of a special situation.

Bangladesh’s COVID-19 caseload has more than doubled in the space of a week amid mounting fears over the spread of omicron.

In the 24 hours to 8 am on Monday, Bangladesh’s new COVID-19 cases soared by 2,231, according to the latest government data, taking the total caseload to 1,595,931.

It is a 49.6 percent jump from Sunday and the highest number of cases in a day since Sept 10, or in 17 weeks.

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