No mask, no service: Govt decides

Staff Correspondent: From now on, no one will be served in government and private offices without a mask. Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam announced the government’s decision at a press conference after the cabinet meeting yesterday.

“No mask, no service” policy will be implemented to combat the coronavirus infection. Private offices will be inspected to see if this policy is being followed, he said.

The cabinet meeting was held virtually with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The PM joined the meeting through a videoconference from Gono Bhaban while other cabinet members got connected from the Secretariat.

During the meeting, the Cabinet was informed about the steps taken by the Ministry of Health to combat coronavirus infections.

Responding to a query, the cabinet secretary said no one will be allowed to enter office without a mask.

“Instructions have been given at all levels, to all of our institutions — social, organisational or formal — that no mask, no service. Masks must be used in all institutions, markets, shopping malls, schools, and social and religious gatherings. We’ve made it compulsory,” Khandker Anwarul Islam said.

He said divisional commissioners have also been given directives to ensure the display of a message outside every government and private office that one must enter wearing mask.

Besides, the Islamic Foundation has been instructed to ask the imams of mosques for spreading the message after prayers — at least twice a day — that wearing masks is a government order, the cabinet secretary said.

The cabinet also gave the final approval to the draft of the Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to enact a law through parliament, repealing a recent ordinance promulgated allowing death penalty alongside life term imprisonment as punishment for rape.

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