The government is set to provide 3 crore doses of vaccine initially among the people free of cost alongside taking tougher action to compel people wearing masks to check further spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.
“Three crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines, which are being procured primarily, will be given to the people free of cost,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told a news briefing at Bangladesh Secretariat here emerging from a regular weekly cabinet meeting.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting joining from Ganabhaban through a video conference, while her cabinet colleagues attended it from Bangladesh Secretariat.
The cabinet secretary said today’s meeting was apprised of the latest progress to face the second wave of Covid-19 and the latest state relating to collect the vaccines.
Anwarul added that the prime minister has already given consent to procure 3 crore doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII).
“The government has already allocated Taka 735.77 crore to purchase the vaccines,” he informed
Replying to a query, the cabinet secretary said that the government will follow the health protocol of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to select the people to be vaccinated.
“Front-liners, including the health workers and the police personnel, will get the vaccines first,” he added.
The cabinet secretary said that the government is going to be tougher to force the people to wear facemasks to limit the spread of the lethal virus which so far claimed 6,644 lives and infected 4,64,932 others in the country.
He said the government has already asked the authorities concerned to fine higher amount of money in accordance with the penal code if anyone violates the government directives on wearing masks.
Anwarul also said that the authorities are thinking of sending the errant people to jail who are not wearing facemasks flouting the government order.
Meanwhile, today’s cabinet meeting approved the draft policy of the 999 National Emergency Services-2020 to give it (services) an institutional shape.
The cabinet secretary said the policy would create widening of the areas of existing 999 emergency services to enable the people to get emergency services by calling at the same 999 number.
Besides, the meeting was informed about the Bangladesh Delta Plan-2021 as well as the five strategy papers formulated by Information and Communication Technology Division.