December 3, 2020, 2:04 pm

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Mask-wearing is a state order: Cabinet

Staff Correspondent: A cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair here today directed all public and private institutions, haat-bazars (markets), mosques and other places of worship to make mask-wearing compulsory.

“Mask-wearing is a state order… No mask, no service,” cabinet secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam told a news briefing at the cabinet division of Bangladesh Secretariat here this afternoon.

He said people of all public and private offices, social institutions, haat-bazars, shopping malls, other establishments, educational institutions, mosques or other places of worship throughout the country must use masks in view of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Held at the cabinet conference room, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the meeting virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban while her cabinet colleagues and secretaries got connected from the Bangladesh Secretariat through a videoconferencing.

“All offices must install notice boards writing – “No mask, No service . . . None will be allowed to enter offices without masks” – in front of the offices or entry points of any institutions,” Islam said, adding, “Massive instructions have been issued everywhere. We have already issued guidelines to the divisional commissioner offices in this connection.”

Besides, Islam said, strong surveillance or close monitoring will be ensured in all spheres of life.

Referring to gearing up the awareness campaigns against COVID-19, the cabinet secretary mentioned that they have also talked to the country’s alem-ulema (Islamic scholars) or religious leaders about the wearing of masks and they have also reached a consensus in this decision.

Islamic Foundation is working on it and it will carry on their campaign at all mosques through the Imams or Moazzin twice a day so that the Imams can convey the message of wearing masks to the devotees, he added.

The cabinet was told about the overall activities, including the incumbent government’s precautionary measures on the outbreak of the fatal disease and also the possible upcoming second spell of COVID-19 in winter and its subsequent effect countrywide.

Replying to a query of journalists, the cabinet secretary said the government is also working to get vaccines of coronavirus on priority basis from the countries working on it.

The government with the coordination of its health ministry is continuing all-out efforts with the states working on the possible coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and to get the supply of it on priority basis, he added.

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