Citing the Communicable Diseases (Prevention, Control and Eradication) Act, 2018, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) yesterday published a circular that said hiding information about any coronavirus patient is a punishable offence.
The circular was published a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a global pandemic.
The law also allows any official in-charge to visit any affected area and take measures accordingly.
The measures include announcing an affected area “outbreak zone”, controlling or stopping people’s movement, suspending vehicular movement, and isolating infected people if necessary.
Besides, the act also permits the officials to order the owner of any vehicle to disinfect it.
“Many returnees from abroad or people who came in close contact with them are not maintaining the condition of quarantine… The DGHS is requesting everyone involved to perform responsibilities accordingly. Otherwise, certain punishable sections of the act would be implemented,” said the circular signed by DGHS Director General Prof Abul Kalam Azad.
In case of any violation of the law, the offender will be penalised for not more than two months in jail or will pay a fine of not more than Tk 25,000, or both.
The DGHS chief also urged all (commercial) organisations to make masks.
“The three-layered mask could be made using poplin material. It could be reused after washing with soap,” he said referring to suggestions from experts.
The DGHS, in a press release, also informed that some 1,350 beds have been prepared in 14 hospitals in Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet, Barishal, and Rangpur cities for the isolation of coronavirus patients.
It also urged all inbound passengers to self-quarantine for 14 days and contact IEDCR before going to hospital if anybody shows symptoms.
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