row over covid measures
Statement, retraction, confusion
Ministers fall out on each other
Published : Thursday, 5 August, 2021 at 12:00 AM Count : 706
Amid countrywide widespread criticism after the announcement of bringing above 18-year-old people under punitive actions for moving outside without vaccination, the government has finally backtracked.
The government has changed the decision and gave announcement of
allowing people outside of their homes with valid reasons.
The government, however, has given emphasis on ensuring use of face masks and vaccination for all adult people in the country.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said it hadn't said travels by adults after August 11 without Covid-19 vaccination would be an act of 'punishable offence'.
Clarifying the issue through a press release, Health Ministry's Senior Information Officer Maidul Islam said on Wednesday, "Various television channels are saying that 'anyone over the age of 18 will not be allowed to travel outside without a vaccine', but this was not a comment made by the ministry."
Following a meeting with high-level government policymakers and officials on the state of Covid 19 pandemic and possible next steps on Tuesday, Liberation War Affairs Minister Mozammel Haque said the ongoing lockdown restrictions would be extended by five days to August 10.
The government will expand its vaccination drive in the coming week and allow stores, businesses and offices to reopen on August 11, he said.
He also said public transport would resume on a limited scale. But no one will be allowed to travel if they did not get the vaccine, the minister had said.
"If, after August 11, someone over the age of 18 travels without taking vaccine, it shall be considered a punishable offence. Anyone travelling by road or river, by car, motorcycle, auto rickshaw, bus, train, whatever transport, must have received vaccine. We will make the process simple and prioritize," he said.
"Information on vaccine recipients will be uploaded directly to a website - no one will get anywhere by lying. On Aug 7, Aug 8 and Aug 9, we will give them the opportunity to get vaccines before stores open. The meeting made this decision so that stores can reopen from Aug 11."
But the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare contradicted the minister's statement the very next day.
Following the statement and unwanted debate started over the announcement, Liberation War Affairs Minister Mozammel Haque, who chaired the meeting and made the announcement, had also withdrawn his statement saying that it was a mistake.