The 75th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, now in the USA, was celebrated across the country amid a special mass vaccination on Tuesday. Hasina, the eldest among the five children of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, was born at Tungipara in Gopalganj on September 28, 1947. The ruling Awami League and its affiliated organisations celebrated the day by holding various programmes, highlighting her life and achievements. Various programmes like discussions, doa and milad-mahfil, special prayers and photo exhibitions were organised in the capital and elsewhere across the country marking her birthday. More importantly, a nationwide mass vaccination campaign was conducted on the day targeting to inoculate 80 lakh people on the occasion of Hasina's birthday. As part of the AL central programmes, a discussion was held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital in the morning. At the function, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina was born for the cause of history, and now she herself is history. Besides, doa and milad-mahfil were arranged at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque and all other mosques throughout the country after Zahr prayers. Read: PM Hasina’s 75th birthday to be celebrated Tuesday
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged all to follow the health guidelines to protect themselves from coronavirus and wear masks even after getting vaccinated. “We should follow health protocols to keep ourselves safe from Coronavirus. All, including those vaccinated, should mask up to prevent the spread of the virus,” she said. The Prime Minister came up with her renewed call while speaking at Parliament on a condolence motion. Parliament unanimously adopted a condolence motion expressing profound grief at the demise of Jatiya Party MP for reserved women seat and a presidium member of Jatiya Party Prof Masuda M Rashid Chowdhury. Speaking on the condolence motion, leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the demise of Prof Masuda caused a huge loss to society. “She was a very learned person…these days such a knowledgeable person is rarely seen,” she said. Hasina said she was a teacher, politician, social worker, women entrepreneur, and engaged in children and women sports with versatile qualities. Read: Take Covid-19 vaccine, follow health guidelines: PM Hasina The Prime Minister said had Prof Masuda been lived longer she could have contributed more to society. Hasina expressed her profound shock as the 11th Parliament is taking condolence motion one after another due to the deaths of its members. Jatiya Party chairman and deputy leader of the opposition GM Quader, opposition chief whip Masiur Rahman Ranga, Anisul Islam Mahmud, BNP MP Harun Ur Rashid, Jatiya Party MP Nazma Akther, AL MP Moslem Uddin Ahmed, Jatiya Party MP Lazi Firoz Rashid, AL MP Abdus Sobhan Miah, Jatiya Party MP Shamim Haider Patwary, AL MPs Syeda Johra Alauddin, Simin Hossain Rimi and Washiqua Ayesha Khan also spoke on the condolence motion. Prof Masuda M Rashid Chowdhury passed away on Monday at the age of 70. She was elected MP for the first time in 2019 from reserved seats for women in parliament.
UNHCR has welcomed the commencement of the vaccination of Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar in line with national authorities’ broader public health efforts. "We are grateful to the Government of Bangladesh for having included Rohingya refugees in the vaccination campaign," said Johannes Van Der Klaauw, UNHCR’s Representative in Bangladesh, on Wednesday. The UN refugee agency said equitable inclusion of Rohingyas in allocation of vaccines is critical to curbing the spread of the ongoing pandemic. "The Rohingya refugee and host community volunteers have an essential frontline role in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the camps. The first step in fully protecting communities; however, is through the rollout of vaccination," UNHCR’s Representative in Bangladesh emphasized. On Tuesday, over 4,000 Rohingyas received their first COVID-19 vaccine, as part of a national vaccination drive to curb the spread of the deadly virus. Read: Covid kills 237 more in Bangladesh as Delta strain takes hold Rohingyas eligible for vaccination in the first cohort include some 48,000 individuals over 55 years of age. The drive will continue until August 17. The vaccination drive for Rohingyas is being led by the Bangladesh authorities with technical support from the UN Refugee Agency, the World Health Organization and other humanitarian partners. The fight against the pandemic has been led by thousands of refugee and host community volunteers, who have worked since 2020 on informing refugees about health and hygiene, monitoring any signs of illness, and connecting the refugee community with critical health services. While the threat of COVID-19 remains critical, their efforts have helped to prevent and curb outbreaks and have saved lives, said the UN agency. The vaccinations follow the devastating monsoon rains that hit Cox’s Bazar District over the past weeks, causing flash floods and landslides which killed eight Rohingya refugees and 15 Bangladeshis in the host communities. Read: Vaccination drive in Bangladesh: Procurement of 60 mln Sinopharm doses gets nod Almost 25,000 refugees were displaced due to landslides, flooding, wind and storms. Thousands of facilities have been damaged including primary health clinics, distribution points and latrines. Access was hindered due to damage to roads, pathways and bridges. UNHCR’s Emergency Response Teams, and partners, refugee and host community volunteers were deployed to assess the damage, to provide support to families forced to relocate, to begin immediate repairs of shelters and other site improvements and to ensure access to essential services for all. While the weather has improved over the last few days, the monsoon season will continue for another couple of months followed by the cyclone season.
Bangladesh will resume vaccination with Astrazeneca shots within the next few days, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque. “We’ll resume vaccination with Astrazeneca jabs within the next 2-1 days. Those who failed to take the second dose after getting the first one will be able to get it now,” he said. The minister said this while speaking to reporters at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport after receiving the second consignment of AstraZeneca vaccine doses from Japan. He said the government currently has a stock of more than 10 lakh doses of Astrazeneca vaccine. Read: Covid kills 218 more in Bangladesh as its catastrophe continues “We’ll get 6 lakh doses more of the vaccine on Aug 3,” Zahid added.
A man received two consecutive jabs of Covid vaccine in Khoksa Upazila Health Complex in Kushtia just within 10 minutes Thursday. Basharuzzaman, 38, resident of Bujruk Mirzapur village went to the designated room of the health complex at noon with his vaccination card to receive the first jab of the Covid vaccine. After receiving the first jab he mistakenly entered the room again and the nurse on duty gave him another shot of the vaccine. Read: Covid-19: Bangladesh lowers vaccination age to 25 Later when he asked the nurse if he was supposed to receive back-to-back two shots of the vaccine like that, the matter got the attention of everyone present there. Currently all the Covid-19 vaccines being distributed in Bangladesh are all two-shot vaccines. Timeline for receiving the second dose after the first one is between 3-6 weeks. Vaccine recipient Basaruzzaman said he didn’t know the system and stood again in line after receiving the first shot. Upazila Health officer Dr Md Kamruzzaman said it’s Basaruzzaman’s mistake as he didn’t inform the nurse about having received the shot once already. Read: Covid in Bangladesh: Daily toll remains above 200; 15,271 more infected However, It should not cause any health issues in him, the doctor said. Meanwhile Civil Surgeon of the district Dr HM Anwarul Islam said there is no scope for the authority to deny their negligence in this incident, as many illiterate general villagers may come to receive vaccines in the centers. The involved officials have already been warned to not repeat such mistakes, he said.
Bangladesh will resume vaccination with Astrazeneca jabs soon, said DGHS spokesperson Prof Dr Nazmul Islam on Wednesday. “We had to stop giving Astrazeneca vaccine to people halfway through due to its short supply. But we’re hopeful of resuming its rollout soon as we’ve received a supply from Japan,” he said during the regular briefing of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). "We’ll get more AstraZeneca supplies within a few days. The wait of those who’re worried about the second dose will hopefully end soon,” he added. Read: Vaccination at union level to start on Aug 7: Home Minster Responding to a question on why the vaccination drive with Astrazeneca has not resumed yet, the spokesperson said,” We’re waiting for the arrival of further supplies.” Bangladesh received the first consignment of 2,45,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan on July 24. Read: Age limit to be lowered to 18 for Covid vaccination: Health DG The vaccine doses came under the COVAX facility. Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito earlier said Japan would provide a total of 3 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh.
The government is going to lower the minimum age limit for Covid vaccination to 18 from 30 years as per a directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a bid to bring more people under the coverage of the mass vaccination programme. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given an instruction in this regard this (Friday) morning. We’ll implement it at the earliest possible time after discussions with the Health Minister,” said Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). He made the remarks while talking to reporters after visiting Covid-dedicated Mugda General Hospital in the capital on Friday. The DGHS DG said the government is also thinking of expanding the vaccination programme to the village level. “The government is planning whether the corona vaccines can be given to rural people in the same way they receive other vaccines.” Read: Dhaka to receive 2.45 lakh AstraZeneca jabs from Tokyo Saturday “If this decision is implemented, then people will be able to get the vaccine doses by showing the national identity cards and the vaccination cards, and then there’ll be no need for registration,” he added. On July 18, the government decided to lower the age limit to 30 years from 35 for Covid vaccination. Over four percent of the country's population has so far been vaccinated since the government launched the mass vaccination programme on February 7 last by administering Covishield. On April 25, the government had to suspend the first dose of the vaccine campaign due to a shortage of jabs. However, the vaccination drive resumed this month with the arrival of Sinopharm, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Replying to a question, Prof Khurshid said the government has preparations to deal with the pressure of the growing number of Covid patients. Read: India working to resume vaccine export to Bangladesh, reiterates Doraiswami He said field hospitals can be set up in different districts to ensure the treatment of virus-infected people. The DG said the outcome of the 14-day strict lockdown enforced by the government today (Friday) will be visible a few days later. He, however, said the virus infections have comparatively decreased now in the frontier areas. Prof Khurshid said they are taking steps for exporting oxygen from India as the country’s current oxygen demand is 200 tonnes per day.
Mass inoculation for Covid-19 will restart from Monday (July 12) with Chinese vaccine Sinopharm in district and upazila hospitals and from Tuesday (July 13) with COVAX’s Modera jabs in municipal hospitals, said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Sunday. Line director of the vaccine deployment committee, Professor Dr Shamsul Haque announced the news during the regular Covid-19 bulletin of the DGHS. By Sunday Moderna doses will reach vaccine centres across the country, while Sinopharm doses were sent Saturday to all the municipal centres, he said. Also read: Massive vaccination to begin in July: PM The additional stock has been ensured for sending to districts and upazilas, said Dr Shamsul Haque, mentioning that all the preparation for mass inoculation has been completed. As from Monday and the next day, people across the country will start getting shots again, it can be said that mass inoculation for Covi-19 resumed, he added. Dr Haque said the 1 lakh doses of Pfizer vaccine so far received will be administered at the seven hospitals of Dhaka and after that Moderna vaccine doses will be administered in these hospitals. Also read: Registration for Covid vaccination to restart Thursday In the other 40 Covid-19 vaccination centres of the city, Sinopharm vaccine shots will be administered till Monday and after that Moderna shots will be administered in those hospitals, he added. Soon a decision will be taken on the urgent vaccination needs of the students who want to go abroad for study as a conversation with the Prime Minister is ongoing, said the line director of the vaccine deployment committee. Until now expatriate workers were being vaccinated in seven centres of Dhaka, but from Monday they will be able to receive the shots from any medical college of the country, said Dr Shamsul.
Amid the deteriorating coronavirus situation, the government is going to resume the countrywide mass registration for receiving Covid-19 jabs from Thursday (July 8), said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Tuesday. “The registration process will resume for all from Thursday morning,” Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman, Director (MIS) of the DGHS, told UNB. “Currently, the registration is ongoing only in three categories on a priority basis. As the mass registration process resumes, all the categories will be available for registering through the Surokkha app as before,” he said. Earlier, on June 30, Dr Shamsul Haque, member secretary of the Vaccine Deployment Committee, also made the same announcement at a virtual press briefing arranged by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). He said the Sinopharm jabs will be administered at 40 centers in Dhaka city and at all district hospitals from 8am to 3pm every day as in the past. Also read: Bangladesh’s Covid catastrophe worsens; 163 more lives lost Dr Haque said the vaccine will also be given at Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID) in Chattogram and Saidpur Sadar Hospital during the same period. He said those who got registered earlier but could not receive the vaccines will be given the Sinopharm jabs now while the medical and university students and those who are on the priority lists can get registered for the vaccine. “Everyone will get an SMS from a vaccination centre after the registration and all must receive the vaccine at that centre accordingly. “In this case, the vaccine card and NID card must be brought for receiving the vaccine.” Dr Haque said the Covid vaccination centers will remain out of the purview of the lockdown. “Those who have vaccine cards will be able to go to the relevant centre showing it.” He said the expatriate workers who stay in countries where the Sinopharm vaccine is accepted also can receive the vaccine at the centers both in Dhaka and outside. “But no one will get the vaccine without registration.” Also read: Chinese firms working with Bangladeshi partners for vaccine co-production Besides, Dr Haque said, the Pfizer vaccine will also be administered at seven centers--Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, Salimullah Medical College and Hospital, Mugda Medical College Hospital, Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Kurmitola General Hospital, and Sheikh Russel National Gastroliver Institute and Hospital—in the capital. He said the outbound expatriate workers who are not allowed to return to their workplaces without getting Pfizer vaccine can only receive the vaccine at the seven centers as per the list from the Manpower Export Promotion Bureau. Dr Haque said those who are supposed to receive Sinopharm jabs from these centres will have to go to alternative centres.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday decided to vaccinate university students as soon as possible so that their dormitories could be reopened. The decision was taken at a virtual meeting chaired by Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni. The vice-chancellors of public universities and officials of the Education Ministry and UGC took part in the meeting. As per the instructions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, all the university students would be vaccinated on priority basis starting with residential ones. Also read: Bangladesh sees rise in Covid infections; 41 more die The meeting decided to permit all the public and private universities to conduct online and direct examinations at their respective university campuses. The academic councils of the respective universities would take the final decisions regarding the online and direct examinations following the UGC instructions. Also read: Take exams but don’t reopen halls: UGC Dorms will be reopened making it sure that all the students are vaccinated and the academic activities of the universities are run regularly, said a UGC media release. The universities were asked to prepare a Recovery Plan according to their capacity and the social reality so that the damage caused to the students during the pandemic could be minimised, the release added.