Friday, January 7 2022

File photo of Minister of Health Zahid Maleque.

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File photo of Minister of Health Zahid Maleque.

The government has decided to suspend air travel with South Africa where the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus has been detected.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said so in an audio message to the media.

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“We know the South African variant. This variant is very aggressive. Therefore air communications with South Africa will be suspended,” he said in the message.

“The screening process has been further strengthened at all airports and land ports under the instructions of the Ministry of Health,” said the minister.

Hygiene rules and the mandate for masks are also tightened across the country, he added.

Instructions have already been given at the district level to this effect, the message also said.

Adequate precautions will also be taken for those arriving in Bangladesh from other countries, the minister added.

Meanwhile, the chief information officer of the Ministry of Health, Maidul Islam Pradhan, told the media that before leaving for Geneva in Switzerland, the minister gave instructions to officials of the ministry and the department of health. Health so that they take the necessary measures to suspend flights with South Africa.

“He gave instructions to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport before he left to attend a meeting of the World Health Organization,” Maidul said.

Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the General Directorate of Health Services (DGHS) and his two other officials are accompanying the minister to Geneva, the OI said.

They will return on December 5, he added.

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