Shanghai will relax the curbs on entering or leaving residential compounds, resume public transport services and ease rules on private cars on roads, local authorities said Monday. The new rules will be put into effect starting Wednesday as the city's COVID-19 situation has been effectively curbed, according to a statement by Shanghai municipal leading group for COVID-19 prevention and control. Also read: N. Korea moves to soften curbs amid doubts over COVID counts No restrictions should be put on residents entering or leaving residential compounds except for those in middle and high risk areas and areas put under COVID-19 restrictions, the statement said. Shanghai will also essentially resume public transport services, including buses, rail transport and ferries, in the city, according to the statement. Taxis and online-hailing services will resume business and private cars will be allowed on roads, except for those in middle and high risk areas and areas put under COVID-19 restrictions, it said. Also read: India records 2,710 new COVID-19 cases, 14 more deaths
The government has extended the period of the existing restrictions on people’s movement and other activities until February 21 and imposed two new ones considering the worsening Covid-19 situation in the country. These restrictions will remain in force from February 7 to 21, said a notification issued by the Cabinet Division on Thursday. The new restrictions are- gathering of more than 100 people in social, political, religious or state events will not be allowed in open places or indoors and those who will attend the events must bring Covid Vaccination Certificate or report of RT PCR test underwent within 24 hours. Besides, in-person classes of schools, colleges and equivalent educational institutions will remain suspended during this period, said the notification. Also read: Covid surge: Closure of schools, colleges extended until Feb 20 On Tuesday, the government extended the closure of secondary and higher secondary-level educational institutions by two weeks until February 20. Amid the growing concern over the Coronavirus’ new Omicron variant, the government on January 13 imposed 11-point restrictions. Also read: Covid in Bangladesh: Daily deaths hit 36 Covid situation in Bangladesh Bangladesh reported 36 more Covid-linked deaths with 12,193 fresh cases in 24 hours till Wednesday morning. The daily positivity rate further dropped to 27.43% from Tuesday's 29.17% after testing 44,308 samples during the period, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).The fresh numbers took the country’s total fatalities to 28,461 while the caseload mounted to 1,824,180. Meanwhile, the mortality rate further declined to 1.56%.However, the recovery rate also declined to 87.35% with the recovery of 4,203 more patients during the 24-hour period. In January, the country reported 322 Covid-linked deaths and 2,13,294 new cases while 19,112 recovered from the disease, according to DGHS.
Airlines continued to cancel hundreds of flights Saturday as staffing issues tied to COVID-19 disrupted holiday celebrations during one of the busiest travel times of the year. FlightAware, a flight-tracking website, noted 888 flights entering, leaving or inside the U.S. canceled Saturday, up from 690 Friday. About 200 more flights were already canceled for Sunday. FlightAware does not say why flights are canceled. Delta, United and JetBlue on Friday had all said the omicron variant was causing staffing problems leading to flight cancellations. United spokesperson Maddie King said staffing shortages were still causing cancellations and it was unclear when normal operations would return. “This was unexpected,” she said of omicron’s impact on staffing. Delta and JetBlue did not immediately respond to questions Saturday. Also read: Christmas being celebrated amid Covid caution According to FlightAware, the three airlines canceled more than 10% of their Saturday scheduled flights. American Airlines also canceled 90 flights Saturday, about 3% of its schedule, according to FlightAware. American spokesperson Derek Walls said the cancellations stemmed from “COVID-related sick calls” and the airline contacted customers on Friday. European and Australian airlines have also canceled holiday-season flights due to staffing problems tied to COVID. Flight delays and cancellations tied to staffing shortages have been a regular problem for the U.S. airline industry this year. Airlines encouraged workers to quit in 2020, when air travel collapsed, and were caught short-staffed this year as travel recovered. Also read: India braces for third Covid wave To ease staffing shortages, countries including Spain and the U.K. have reduced the length of COVID-19 quarantines by letting people return to work sooner after testing positive or being exposed to the virus. Delta CEO Ed Bastian was among those who have called on the Biden administration to take similar steps or risk further disruptions in air travel. On Thursday, the U.S. shortened COVID-19 isolation rules for health care workers only.
The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations of 2022 are expected to be held in the middle of the year, said Education Minister Dipu Moni. “As we have been successful in tackling Covid, next year's SSC and HSC exams will not be delayed that much. Those might be held in the middle of the next year,” she said. The minister made the remark while talking to reporters after inspecting an HSC examination centre at Government Shaheed Suhrawardy College on Thursday morning. Read: HSC exams begin in Bangladesh Dipu Moni said there is no chance of question paper leak in the HSC examinations this year.
Though the Covid-19 pandemic looks to have eased in Bangladesh with an insignificant infection rate for the past several weeks, experts warn that a fresh mild wave of Covid-19 may hit the country during this winter. Since the virus still remains in some pockets of the country, they said it is likely to spread fast amid the presence of different flues with the fall of mercury next month due to public apathy to wear masks and health safety rules, low pace in vaccination and lack of human intervention and necessary bulwarks. The analysts also said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina rightly rang the alarm bell last week as the virus cases are surging again in many countries and neighbouring India’s West Bengal. Read Bangladesh bracing for third Covid wave? They, however, said Bangladesh can avoid the possible winter wave by intensifying the virus control measures, including strict screening at air and land ports, encouraging people to maintain health safety rules, and wear masks and strengthening the vaccination drive. On October 28, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged all to maintain health protocols like wearing masks to check the resurgence of Coronavirus in the upcoming winter as the virus hits many countries, including the USA, England and some European countries, at this time. Current Covid situation Bangladesh reported 256 Covid cases on Wednesday with 1.31 percent passivity rate. The fresh cases were detected after testing 19,523 samples, said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). Read: Bangladesh logs another 7 Covid-linked deaths, 247 fresh infections Though Covid infection rate crossed 30 percent in July this year and it continued falling from mid-August. The virus came down to below five percent on September 21 while it declined to below 3 percent on October 3 and below two percent on October 22.
Young right-arm Bangladeshi pacer Hasan Mahmud needs to go abroad for the diagnosis of his health problem, chief physician of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has said. Hasan sustained a back injury during Bangladesh’s New Zealand tour this year. After that, he was rested for a few days, and started his rehabilitation under the national team physio. Read:Tamim set to fly for Nepal to take part in EPL He had also started bowling with 50% effort, but that did not work well for him as the pain resurfaced which has forced him to sit out for more than five months. “He has been under our observation for a long time,” Debashis Chowdhury, the chief physician of BCB, told the reporters on Thursday. “We have examined him in many ways on different occasions, but we couldn’t find any big problem. We think he requires a biomechanical assessment to find out his problem.” There is no biomechanical assessment facility in Bangladesh and so the pacer needs to go abroad to find one, said Debashis. “We are trying to send him somewhere we can get a biomechanical assessment facility. But there are some restrictions put in place due to the Covid-19 situation around the globe. We have been in constraint contacts with some countries. I think it would be possible to send him for assessment within the next two-three weeks,” Debashis added. Read:Murad shines with 47/6 against Bangladesh A The 21-year-old pacer was inducted to international cricket in 2020 with a T20I match against Zimbabwe in Dhaka. He later got his ODI cap against the West Indies in Dhaka early this year. Hasan represented the country in three ODIs and a solitary T20I, and scalped five wickets in ODIs with the best figures of taking three wickets conceding 28 runs. He is yet to register any wicket in T20Is. The pacer also played 14 First-class, 19 List-A and 23 T20 matches so far where he bagged 83 wickets in total.
The government on Thursday again extended the closure of secondary and higher secondary-level educational institutions until September 11 considering the Covid-19 situation in the country. Talking to UNB, MA Khair, public relations officer of the Education Ministry, revealed the information about the government decision. “A joint meeting of the Education Ministry, Ministry of Primary and Mass education and the National Technical Advisory Committee was held on Thursday over the issue, “ he said. The government shut the educational institutions on March 17, 2020 after the country reported its first Covid-19 cases on March 8. Then the closure was extended several times, most recently until August 31. Read:Schools, colleges asked to prepare for reopening, guidelines issued
Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur has urged the Bangladeshi expatriates in Malaysia to remain cautious about misinformation regarding its passport related services. The Mission delivered record number of passports over the last six to seven months, it said. The High Commission on Sunday said they are delivering passports through 36 post offices since April this year due to Covid-19 situation in Malaysia. Read:Govt offers hope for returnee expats with Tk 427-cr rehabilitation project The decision was taken considering the current Covid-19 situation and to deliver the passport related services to Bangladeshis’ doorstep without any hassle. “Expatriates brothers and sisters are requested not to get panicked,” said the High Commission urging all to avoid spreading any news that might create unnecessary panic among the expatriate Bangladeshis in Malaysia.
To keep the wheels of the economy rolling during the ferocious second wave of the pandemic, the government Thursday allowed the resumption of all public transport services from August 19. All tourist spots, community centres, resorts and recreation facilities can also reopen but with 50% capacity from August 19 and following all Covid-safety protocols, the Cabinet division said in a notification. Read: Covid-19: Bangladesh announces new restriction rules The latest directive will remain in force until further orders, according to the Cabinet division. Earlier, the government had allowed only half of the public transport vehicles to ply on the roads, following all health protocols. Moreover, it was silent on the reopening of the tourist spots and community centres. According to the latest notification, all modes of public transport, including those of road, river and railways can restart operations following all health protocols. Use of masks and social distancing will be mandatory everywhere. And legal action will be taken against violators, be it individuals or organisations, according to the government. The authorities concerned have been asked to take necessary steps in this regard. Bangladesh was put under the “strict” lockdown on July 23 barring people from leaving their homes except for essential reasons. Read: Bangladesh eases lockdown, but Delta variant ready to hit freedom Scheduled to end on August 5, it was later extended to August 10.
Banks will remain closed on Sunday, said the Bangladesh Bank in a circular issued on Thursday. However, banks’ transaction time on Monday and Tuesday has been extended by half an hour from 10 am to 3 pm instead of existing time from 10 am to 2:30 pm. Read: Bank transaction time extended by 1 hour during lockdown They can remain open up to 4:30 pm to conduct their official activities, said the BB circular, issued against the backdrop of the government’s extension of current lockdown until August 10 considering the Covid-19 situation. The other instructions including maintenance of all Covid-safety protocols and operation with limited staff will remain unchanged. As per that circular, during this period, the head offices and other necessary branches of banks can remain open with limited staff. Read: Banks to open from Sunday for limited hours The banks have to conduct its regular activities like deposits and withdrawal of money by customers, demand note/pay order issue, foreign remittance handover, payment under the government’s safety-net social programmes and pension payments. However, internet banking services will continue for 24 hours. All banks will have to ensure the operations of ATM kiosks to facilitate transactions through cards and by supplying adequate cash in the machines, said the BB circular.