The meeting, chaired by minister for liberation war affairs AKM Mohammed Haque, decided to extend the ongoing restrictions up till 10 August. From 11 August everything including public transport, shops and offices will be open on a limited scale.

At the meeting, it was decided that vaccinations would be given from 7 August to 17 August simultaneously at 14,000 centres at the union and ward level. The elderly would be given priority. Labourers, shopkeepers and transport workers would get their vaccinations at their respective wards.

No one would be able to go to their workplaces without being vaccinated. AKM Mozammel Haque said it would also be considered an offence if anyone over 18 went out from their homes without being vaccinated.

Health minister Zahid Maleque later said, “Alongside vaccines, importance is being given to wearing masks and maintaining social distance. If this is to be properly implemented, the police must also be given the authority to impose fine on anyone not wearing a mask. We may decide on that too. This will require an ordinance and we have discussed that.”

The health minister said, the government has around 12.5 million (1.25 crore) vaccines on hand. Another 10 million (1 crore) or so will arrive this month. The meeting stressed on local manufacture of the vaccine. Negotiations between a Bangladesh company and China’s Sinopharm have proceeded quite far about this. The law ministry has given its approval in this regard.

According to the last announcement, the ongoing restrictions which started after Eid on 23 July, are to end on 5 August. However, after the export-oriented industries opened on 1 August, questions arose as to whether the restrictions would be extended after 5 August. The government has now given this decision of extending the restrictions till 10 August.

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