Covid-19 roaring back in Bangladesh

Government should integrate pragmatic preventive measures based on the experiences garnered from the first wave

Published : 12 Apr 2021 07:20 PM | Updated : 12 Apr 2021 11:50 PM

Coronavirus situation in the country has taken a fateful turn in Bangladesh. The country has been experiencing a widespread transmission of Covid-19 in the community for last several weeks. A rapid increase in infection rate is spurring fears that the pandemic is nowhere close to end.

 It is alarming to note that a fresh surge of Covid-19 in Bangladesh that started in early March saw the test positivity rate in the country jump from 3 percent to 13 percent in just two weeks. However, finding no other alternative to stem the spread of Covid-19, the government is going to enforce strict lockdown across the country. 

Since the existing lockdown has proven to be ineffective to restrict public movement, the government has decided to go into a week-long strict lockdown from Wednesday. Reportedly, during the upcoming lockdown, all government and private offices, industries including the RMG factories and transport services will remain suspended.

The fresh lockdown system would be enforced strictly so that people follow health guidelines and maintain social distancing properly. Analysing soaring numbers of coronavirus infection rates in the country, it can be said that the deadly virus is spreading fast in the community level and in this critical stage, it is very important to make people stay home to tame Covid-19.

In order to make the upcoming lockdown successful, 

the government must make sure that the food and 

financial assistance reach all vulnerable groups.  Also, 

the government must ensure that no social gatherings 

take place in the country during this time 

of a national health crisis

In order to prevent community transmission, it is necessary to implement a system to find every suspected case at the community. To this end, government should embark on a programme to deploy health workers to go from house to house to collect samples and send them to the laboratories.  

Also, in this stage aggressive measures to test and treat are not only the best and fastest way out of extreme social and economic restrictions – they’re also the best way to prevent them. Let’s break the chain and protect our nation against this pandemic with social distancing and self isolation. When it comes to halting the COVID-19 crisis, virus testing is the key to diagnosing cases and tracking the pandemic. It is the only way to uncover just how many people have been infected, or could infect others. Therefore, people should be encouraged more to go for Covid-19 tests whenever needed.  A rigorous system of test, trace and isolation can protect us. After so many disastrous errors, we must get this right.

People across the country should take the deadly disease seriously and take more precautions because even developed nations have not been able to stop the spread of the disease despite having the best of resources and technology. There are perturbing signs that most of us have developed a lax attitude to keeping social distancing. While coronavirus situation has taken a terrible turn in the country, it seems many people in Bangladesh just couldn't care less about it to contain further spread of the virus.

Considering the situation, the government must take drastic steps to compel people to maintain social distancing and ensure that no social gatherings take place in the country. Government should integrate pragmatic preventive measures based on the experiences learned from the first wave so that it can act fast to stem the spread of Covid-19.

We must educate and empower people to protect themselves from the infection of the virus. It needs no mentioning that self-defence is the best way to prevent a pandemic like corona. Also, we have to involve people with plans and programmes to control the virus. Without people’s involvement and cooperation, we would be tough to tame Covid-19 successfully.

Also, in order to prevent community transmission we must overcome fear of being stigmatized. In fear of being discriminated and subsequently being victimized in the society, many people tested positive for Covid19, tend to conceal information about their infection. Many people are hiding their symptoms or health history in fear of being stigmatized. This is indeed a risky and selfish exercise. In this critical situation, we must overcome fears of being stigmatized for the greater good of our society

Stigma can undermine social cohesion and prompt possible social isolation of groups, which might contribute to a situation where the virus is more, not less, likely to spread. In short, if people are trying to hide their illness to avoid discrimination, they are less likely to get tested or treated.

We cannot rebut that that we have been very reluctant in our response to the pandemic. But now at this critical juncture where infection rates are increasing rapidly along with causalities, we must take drastic measures to prevent the spread as much as possible. As we are heading towards a ‘peak transmission’ and in order to quell the spread of coronavirus local administrations must take harsh steps to make people stay at home. In order to make fresh lockdown successful, the government must take drastic measure to compel people to maintain social distance and make sure that the food and financial assistance reach all vulnerable groups including the middle-class. Last but not least, government must ensure that no social gatherings take place in the country during this time of a national health crisis.

Sayeed Hossain Shuvro is a member of the editorial team of Bangladesh Post