The government has ordered public and private offices across the country to be run at half staff from Monday to February 6 amid rising Covid transmission.
The ministerial division issued a circular in this regard on Sunday.
Bangladesh reported 14 more deaths and 10,906 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours up to 8 a.m. Sunday.
Additionally, health officials recorded a positivity rate of 31.29% after testing 34,854 samples across the country – the second highest positivity rate recorded in the country to date.
Earlier on July 24 last year, Bangladesh recorded the highest positivity rate of 32.55% in one day.
According to the World Health Organization, Covid-19 infections are considered under control if a country’s detection rate remains below 5% for more than two consecutive weeks.
Amid the nationwide outbreak, the Chattogram Division reported a positivity rate of 38.64% during the same period.
With the latest figures, the death toll reached 28,223 and the number of cases rose to 16,85,136 in the country.
Omicron gradually becomes the dominant variant: DGHS
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the Omicron variant is gradually taking the place of the Delta variant in Bangladesh.
The Delta variant is still predominant in community-level infections but the Omicron variant is gradually taking its place, DGHS spokesman Professor Nazmul Islam said in the health bulletin on Sunday.
About the signs and symptoms of Omicron, he said that 73% of people infected with Omicron have runny nose, 68% of patients have headache, 64% of patients have fatigue, 60% of patients sneeze , 60% of patients have a sore throat and 44% of patients have a cough.
“We must bear in mind that the symptoms [of Omicron] are similar to seasonal flu and the flu. Therefore, in any case, we should consult a doctor,” said Dr Nazmul Islam.
“If we continue to disregard the health guidelines, the number of patients will increase even more. This will put additional pressure on the health system. We have the data. The number of patients in the hospital has increased a lot over the past the last three to four months and it’s still going up,” he added.
“If we want to overcome this epidemic, we must follow the health instructions,” he said.
About the upcoming book fair, he said, “We would like to ask those associated with the book fair to complete their vaccinations before the fair starts.
He further recommended that anyone over the age of 60 or on the front lines planning to visit the book fair get their booster shot first.
“Everyone must wear a mask. No one can walk around the fair without a mask,” he warned.
Office to manage with half the workforce
In the cabinet division circular signed by Saiful Islam, Principal Deputy Secretary, it was mentioned that all public, private, semi-governmental and autonomous offices should operate with half of their staff in accordance with health guidelines. Other officials and staff would remain in their own offices and work virtually.
Regarding the work of the courts, the circular indicates that the Supreme Court will issue the necessary instructions.
In addition, the Bangladesh Bank and Financial Institutions Division will issue instructions regarding the operation of banks, insurance and other financial institutions.