Bangladesh makes COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for school participation
Without vaccination, no student aged above 12 years will be allowed to attend in-person classes after Jan 15, say officials
Amid a sharp rise in coronavirus infections, Bangladesh on Sunday made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for students attending in-person classes on campuses.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mohammad Abul Khair, an official at the Education Ministry, said the new directives were issued to ensure the health safety of students and resume in-person educational activities in the country.
In a notification on Sunday, the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education directed educational institutions to ensure the vaccination of students aged above 12 years, saying none would be allowed to take part in classes in schools and colleges after Jan. 15 without first being vaccinated.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 infections rose by 115% in the country in the span of a week, while the death rate rose by 15%, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Another 6,300 cases were recorded in the last week as of Saturday, while the number was 3,336 in the previous week, DGHS spokesman Nazmul Islam told reporters.
Mushtaq Hossain, a virologist and chief advisor at the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), said that a fresh peak of COVID-19 has already begun in the country.
"Bangladesh has seen a sharp rise in coronavirus infections in the past two weeks. Both infections and deaths could further rise in coming weeks," he told Anadolu Agency.
"Though Bangladesh has recorded only a few cases (20 so far) of omicron, our negligence to maintain health safety guidelines could change the scenario," he added.
"We see huge gatherings in hospitals, government and private offices and shopping malls despite the increasing cases of COVID-19. We will have to restrict such gatherings and ensure strict monitoring to avoid any catastrophe," the virologist warned.
The South Asian country of 165 million people on Sunday registered 1,491 new cases, and three new deaths, according to the DGHS.
The total fatalities reached 28,102, while the infections rose to 1.6 million, added the DGHS.