Public health safety rules largely defied


In spite of the government’s strict instruction for obeying health safety rules including wearing face masks and maintaining physical distances while in public places, most of the people across the country seem to be defying the rules.

With Eid-ul-Azha knocking the door, many are busy with shopping defying health safety rules while in public. Sadly, there seems to be no proper supervision.

Meanwhile, Eid shopping is going on in almost all the markets largely without maintaining social distance and respecting hygiene rules. Experts believe that the risk of coronavirus infection is increasing due to such unruly practice.

The movement of people on the streets has increased, traffic jams are noticed on the roads, all in all, the capital is returning to its old traditional form even in the midst of the outbreak of coronavirus. Shoppers are foundmoving in close distances in crowds, many without wearing face masks.

Citizens and specialist doctors said there has been no "vigorous campaign" from the administration and health department to enforcemaintaining hygiene rules. This is why ordinary people do not understand the importance of health safety rules.

A general observation in public places in city’s Mirpur, Shyamoli, Dhanmondi, Farmgate and other areas shows that more than 40 percent of the people do not use bio-safety protective gears like the face masks and hand gloves. It is also noticed that those who use face masks in general lack knowledge on ‘proper’ use of the mask.

"People are talking about using face mask and maintaining personal hygiene to prevent COVID-19 outbreak, not about maintaining social distance," said a concerned rickshaw passenger.

However, with no "total lockdown" order imposed by the government, millions of people are out on the roads every day, especially in the capital Dhaka. For a city as dense as Dhaka, maintaining social distance - as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent the coronavirus spread - seems like adaydream.

Sufian, a resident of Shyamoli, was walking on the road with friends without any protection like wearing mask. When asked, he said, "In the beginning, I used mask every day and tried to maintain social distance. At that time no one would leave their house. But now everyone is coming out and most of them do not follow hygiene. So I believe it is now safe to be close to each other.”

Noor Muhammad said, "Everything seems to be reopening. How can I protect myself amid allthe crowds where there is no discipline?”

When asked, Mansur Hossain, Sub Inspector of Kalabagan police station, who was on patrol duty, said, "Even though we try to make people understand about maintaining social distance, but a very few seems to be caring."

An assistant commissioner of DMP's Ramna zone said, "Police are being flexible because of coronavirus situation. On this occasion, many are not paying attention to the rules and regulations. Not obeying social distance. Many don't want to obey even if they understand.”

Medicine specialist Dr Jakir Hussain said, “Initially it was said that if you do not maintain physical distance, you will get infected with coronavirus. That's why everyone was following it. But after reopening garment factories, shops, shopping malls, everyone is thinking that they will not be infected. The result is—many are being infected completely unaware.”