Bangladesh Announces Reopening Universities In May Amid Vaccination Rollout

DHAKA, Feb 23 (NNN-BSS) – Bangladesh’s Education Minister, Dipu Moni, on Monday announced that universities in the country will reopen on May 24. The university halls will reopen on May 17, the minister added.

Prior to the reopening, Moni said, all residential students, teachers and employees in universities will be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Also, Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, asked the country’s Education Ministry to ensure first, the inoculation of teachers and other education officials, said Cabinet Secretary, Khandker Anwarul Islam.

He said, yesterday’s cabinet meeting with the prime minister also asked the Education Ministry, to start soon, discussions on the reopening of schools and colleges with all stakeholders.

He said, an inter-ministerial meeting would be convened shortly, to review whether or when to reopen schools and colleges, as the countrywide vaccination rollout offered the opportunity for students to return to their educational institutions.

Nearly three million people in Bangladesh have so far taken the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine, paving the way for reopening of universities.

The Bangladeshi government is planning to administer COVID-19 vaccines to 16.9 million people from varied high-risk groups, including teaching professionals, on a priority basis.

The government-ordered closure of educational institutions nationwide, started from March 17 last year, as part of the country’s efforts to halt the spread of the pandemic.

The closure has been extended repeatedly and the latest extension from Feb 14 to Feb 28, was in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19, in the current cold weather.

Since Mar 8, 2020, the virus has spread to nearly every Bangladeshi district and the official data showed the national tally for COVID-19 infections has increased to 543,717, with 8,356 deaths so far.

Bangladesh recorded 366 new confirmed cases and seven new deaths yesterday, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said. The official data showed that 11,103 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.

The total number of recovered patients from the pandemic rose to 492,059, including 692 new recoveries yesterday, said the DGHS.

According to the official data, the COVID-19 fatality rate in Bangladesh is now 1.54 percent and recovery rate is 90.50 percent.– NNN-BSS