Bangladesh takes necessary steps to prevent Omicron: Maleque
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Bangladesh takes necessary steps to prevent Omicron: Maleque

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque yesterday said Bangladesh takes all necessary steps to prevent the highly contagious new Covid-19 African variant Omicron.

“The people, who are arriving from South Africa and other Omicron infected countries, must be tested COVID-19 within 48 hours and they must be kept for mandatory 14 days quarantine,” he made the comments while visiting the newly constructed building of Bangladesh Institute of Health Management at Savar, on the outskirts of the capital city.

The health minister said the authorities have strengthened screening of all passengers at all gateways including air, land, and waterways to detect new South African strain. “We have expanded testing facilities to tackle the new COVID-19 variant named omicron,” he added.

Maleque said the government has taken the initiative to recruit 15,000 to 20,000 health assistants and medical technologists to improve the healthcare system to fight the lethal virus.

As part of our move to further improve healthcare services, we have recently recruited 4,000 physicians and over 8,000 nurses to handle coronavirus situations properly, he added.

The health minister said, “Rapid vaccination is the best remedy to contain the spread of coronavirus… seven crore people have so far received first doses of the vaccine while four crore people were given second doses of vaccines.”

On November 28, the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) placed four-point recommendations to prevent new COVID-19 variant while on November 29, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) issued 15-point guidelines to tackle the variant.

On November 25 (Thursday) scientists in South Africa said they had detected a new Covid-19 variant (Omicron) with multiple mutations.

The World Health Organization on Friday (November 26) declared the recently-discovered B.1.1.529 strain of Covid-19, first detected in southern Africa, to be a variant of concern.

The highly contagious Omicron has been detected in 38 countries but there are no reported deaths so far from the new COVID-19 variant.

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