** Call it national government, call it emergency government – but the need for change is urgent ** Rains lash Dhaka, trigger snarls ** Global Covid cases near 527 million ** No advice to be economical, honest people are already in hardship ** Flooding affects millions in Sylhet ** India, Bangladesh train services to resume shortly ** Global Covid cases near 526 million ** Gridlocks greet capital commuters ** Consumers buying rice from a Food Directorate's Truck posted at Abdul Gani road in the capital on Thursday amid soaring prices of essential commodities. NN photo ** Is Bangladesh heading toward a Sri Lanka-like crisis? ** Veteran journalist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury no more ** Averting currency crisis without power sector reform ** Boatmen struggle to cross the Buriganga River as water hyacinths cover part of the river near Islampur in the capital. NN photo ** Nasir, two others indicted in Pori Moni case ** Covid-19: Bangladesh logs 22 new cases, no death ** HC cancels bail of expelled JL leader Samrat ** Truck-microbus collision leaves 2 dead in Natore ** PK Halder now wants to return to Bangladesh knowing he has powerful friends to help him ** Sylhet flood situation worsens, thousands marooned ** Extradition of PK Halder has to go thru’ legal process: Indian envoy ** Govt fixes toll rate for using Padma Bridge ** Bangladesh marks Hasina's homecoming ** Global Covid cases near 522 million ** Children take bath in the Buriganga River in Dhaka to ward off the scorching summer heat. This photo was taken from Buriganga embankment on Monday. NN photo ** Sweden takes formal decision to apply for NATO membership **

Increase on urgent basis vaccination and use of booster jabs to face Omicron arrival

30 November 2021
Increase on urgent basis vaccination and use of booster jabs to face Omicron arrival

Those who thought they are going to get relief from Covid-19 hazards after having vaccine shots and everything will be easier again in a new normal situation, now have a big shock as the spread of new corona-variant Omicron hits the headlines of world media. It was first reported to the World Health Organisation from South Africa on November 24. Expressing grave concern, the WHO said Omicron was highly infectious. It is yet not clear what measures have been taken by our Health Ministry to prevent the new variant. The DGHS officials on Sunday said that they have already asked the authorities concerned at ports to screen travellers more strictly. Health experts also asked for a 14-day compulsory quarantine for any traveller who has a history of visiting the Omicron-confirmed countries.  

 We must say the government should expedite the Covid-19 vaccination campaign across the country alongside measures to prevent the entry and spread of the Omicron variant. Apart from South Africa - as per WHO - Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Hong Kong are considered the points of origin of this new variant while it is already found in Belgium, Israel, Germany, Italy, Australia and some other countries. We're very much anxious about the spread of this new variant because we earlier had seen that our Health Ministry is highly capable of making a mess of the Covid-19 situation. Several thousand travellers came into the country using land, sea and airports. But the virus prevention measures with screening of travellers were not enough as required. It was so easy to cross the check points even without any screening. Besides, a huge number of people were seen waiting at the airports to receive their near and dear ones, giving hugs and making handshakes. It was the main reason behind the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Secondly, we saw people's over-enthusiasm for going to their village homes ahead of Eid festivals. They returned to the city the same way. For this reason perhaps, Covid-19 spread to the remote villages. Moreover, poor people came back to the streets looking for jobs as government's incentive packages failed to reach the real needy ones. In many areas, rice and other essentials meant for the ultra poor were grabbed by a section of dishonest local representatives. Again, arranging vaccines from India and other countries was marred by total mismanagement. It was uncertain to get an adequate number of jabs to tackle the situation.

Now the administration should take a coordinated move taking lessons from previous experiences before Omicron virus arrives in Bangladesh contaminating people more speedily.

The inoculation of Covid-19 vaccines and use of booster jabs should begin urgently to face Omicron before it finds its way to Bangladesh.

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