The government does not want to close down education institutions, Education Minister Dipu Moni has said.

“The educational institutes had to be closed down for one-and-half years. We don’t want to impose fresh shutdowns,” she said while speaking to the media on Saturday.

“We want all the students to come back to school vaccinated, which is why we are prioritising their inoculation,” added Dipu Moni.

Expressing concern at the rapid surge in Covid-19 infections, the minister urged everyone to be more aware and adhere to health guidelines for the sake of the students.

“In-person classes are imperative to make up for the one-and-half year loss,” she said.

The education minister added that while it is possible to bring students 12 years or older under vaccine protection, there is growing concern regarding primary school students who are yet to become eligible.

According to the minister, the education sector will be hit the hardest if the situation deteriorates and it will be difficult to say what another shutdown may do.

Bangladesh has so far recorded 21 Omicron cases and on Friday logged 1,146 new cases with the daily test positivity rising to 5.67% in 24 hours. The new cases were detected after testing 20,204 samples.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a test positivity of over 5% is a key concern for any country.

Meanwhile, infections have surged all across the world including neighbouring India where health workers and hospitals are once more struggling to manage the heavy caseload.

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