Covid-19: Educational institutions reopening may be delayed

Dhaka, Mar 12  :  A recent upward trend in daily coronavirus infection rate could force the government to keep educational institutions shut longer than expected.
“If the upward trend continues, the government will reconsider [changing] the reopening date based on our observation and discussions with the national advisory committee,” Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni said on Friday replying to a question from journalists.
Bangladesh has recorded over 1,000 new Covid-19 cases each day for the last three days.
On Friday, the health authorities confirmed 1,066 new cases and 13 more coronavirus-related deaths. The mortality rate is 1.53 percent.
The daily infection rate rose to above 5 percent after a month of a downtrend. The percentage jumped to 6.62 from 5.82 on Thursday.
Dipu Moni said that the people might have become a little reluctant to follow health rules because of the availability of the vaccine. She requested everyone to properly follow the health guidelines.
The government shut educational institutions on March 17 last year after the country reported its first Covid-19 cases on March 8. The closure was extended several times, most recently until late March this year.
Classes in all primary, secondary and higher secondary level educational institutions were scheduled to resume on March 30. At a recent virtual media briefing, the education minister said that university classes would resume on May 24.
Residential halls were scheduled to be reopened on May 17.
“We’ll take a decision considering the health risks and overall safety of the students, teachers, staff and guardians,” Dipu Moni said on Friday.
She said the government is closely monitoring the situation.
Bangladesh has so far recorded 555,222 coronavirus cases and 8,515 fatalities. So far, 509,172 patients have recovered, according to government data, reports UNB.