Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday assured the countrymen that the government has taken all-out preparations to bring COVID-19 vaccine whenever it will be available.
"The vaccine is about to be invented, research works are going on. We've given advance booking so that we could bring a vaccine at once after its invention. We're taking steps for that purpose. We've taken all-out preparations for that," she said while delivering her winding-up speech in the Parliament.
Responding to criticism from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Jatiya Party leader GM Quader, she said that educational institutions were opened in America and European countries including UK, but later they shut down all as the infection of coronavirus was shooting up alarmingly.
"We've also discussed to open our educational institutions. If opened, students, teachers and guardians would go to the respective institutions. Coronavirus is contagious, a vaccine is yet to be invented. Why should we take the risk? We can't push our people towards death risk. We've to keep that in our mind too," she said.
The government extended the closure of educational institutions until December 19 amid apprehensions that there could be a surge in Covid-19 cases in Bangladesh during the upcoming winter months
Educational institutions were shut in March in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The government also decided not to take any Higher Secondary Certificate and equivalent examinations this year amid the pandemic.
There will be no Primary Education Completion and its equivalent Ebtedayee examinations for 2020 and students will be promoted to the next class through class assessment instead.
Regarding auto promotion, the Prime Minister said that this was also followed in England and other countries.
She mentioned that at present, the educational institutions follow semester system and through this system, the result can be given taking previous semesters result into consideration.
"By giving auto promotion, it's not right that massive damage has been caused to the students' lives," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that second wave of COVID-19 has already hit Europe and America and this has started to come to our country too.
"We're very much cautious about it from the very beginning," the Prime Minister said.
She said that the last time the government could not complete all preparations as it came suddenly.
"This time we have taken more preparations," she said.
The Prime Minister requested all to wear masks when they go out and drink warm water as a precaution.
Earlier in the day, she reiterated her warning that the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in the country is imminent and asked all to wear masks.
"I request you all to wear masks and follow other safety rules," she said.
About the coronavirus vaccine, she said the government is paying in advance.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque on November 1 said discussions are underway with different countries for procuring vaccines.
Earlier this month, the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Serum Institute of India Pvt Limited and Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd to get 30 million doses of SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine).
Bangladesh on Thursday recorded 30 more deaths, taking fatalities to 6,305 with a fatality rate of 1.43 percent. With 2,364 new cases, the caseload now stands at to 441,159.
‘Bangabandhu created national unity’
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinasaid that the government has taken steps to move the economy and for that assistance has been provided to the grassroots level.
Regarding the transformation of government system by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, Sheikh Hasina said that he created a national unity.
"His aim was to increase production, make the country prosperous and developed quickly. For that he wanted to take the power to the grassroots through decentralisation, from where the development would be started," she said.