Staff Correspondent: Amid the growing concern over the new ‘Omicron’ variant of coronavirus, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) yesterday suggested the implementation of 15 instructions to prevent the spread of the new variant.
The DGHS issued a notice signed by Prof Nazmul Islam, Director of Disease Control, on Sunday night, putting forward the instructions.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also asked all countries to stay alert about the new variant.
The UK and other countries have imposed a travel ban on South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and other countries as the new variant is more contagious than the Delta variant.
The DGHS urged all concerned to take measures to enforce those instructions.
The instructions are:
· To strengthen screening and testing at airports and land ports, especially for the passengers coming from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini and Lesotho
· Discouraging all forms of public gatherings (political/social and religious)
· Ensuring the use of masks and health guidelines
· Making arrangements to dine at hotels and restaurants with half of their capacities
· Allowing people at tourist spots, recreation sites, resorts, community centers, theatres and social programmes also at half capacities
· Ensuring health guidelines at worship places
· Ensuring the use of mask in public transport
· Fourteen-day mandatory quarantine for the passengers coming from the countries of infections
· Ensuring health guidelines in all educational institutions and coaching centers.
· Health service seekers, health service providers and health workers must wear mask and follow health guidelines
· Continuing vaccination progamme by maintaining health guidelines
· Ensuring isolation of Covid positive patients and people showing Covid symptoms and quarantining those who come in close contact with Covid positive patients
· Keeping people showing Covid symptoms in isolation and collecting samples with the help of the local authorities concerned
· Ensuring the use of mask while entering and staying in offices
· Creating awareness among people for maintaining health guidelines through loudspeakers at community level engaging public representatives.
Besides, the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 recommended a ban on travelling to Bangladesh from the countries where the new variant of the virus Omicron has spread.
The recommendation was made at the 47th meeting of the committee on Sunday, said Dr Mohammad Shahidullah, president of the NTAC.
Nearly two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the world races to contain a new coronavirus variant potentially more dangerous than the one that has fueled relentless waves of infection on nearly every continent.
A WHO panel named the variant “omicron” and classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern, the same category that includes the predominant delta variant, which is still a scourge driving higher cases of sickness and death in Europe and parts of the United States.
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