‘Risky areas to be locked down’

A dozen high risk areas of the capital Dhaka are likely to be put on lockdowns, besides other areas across the country, with infections topping 199357 on Friday.

The government is thinking to impose localized lockdowns and other restrictions in the face of rising death tolls and infections as well.

Severity of the situation underscores the need for locking down coronavirus patients’ houses to make lockdown effective even in a small area.

These views have been stated in the corona area-based control strategy paper. In fact, no one could say when the work will start in this regard as the main work is stuck in the Department of Health.

Coronavirus control has been reported by identifying red, yellow and green areas since the beginning of last month. No major government or private activities are still in sight in the field to control the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Many people think that if the lockdown starts, it may be possible to control the corona infection more effectively.

On July 12, the experts finalized the strategy paper and ancillary instructions. However, it has not been finalized yet which areas of the country will have to be put on lockdowns.

Zahirul Islam, additional secretary of the local government department, said, "We will help putting 12 areas of the two city corporations on lockdowns. The Ministry of Health needs to be informed prior to putting designated areas on lockdowns.”

The strategy paper was finalized on July 12 by a 13-member central technical group. Since then, it has been in the office of the director general of the health department, several members of the committee confirmed. Director General Abul Kalam Azad told media that, "I hope the work will start soon."

Meanwhile, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh on Thursday urged all concerned to enforce a stricter lockdown in the capital Dhaka’s Wari area.

He made the call at the second review meeting of the central committee for Wari lockdown implementation at Nagar Bhaban.
Wari was put under a 21-day lockdown on July 4 as the health authorities marked the area as a ‘Red Zone’ due to the high Covid-19 infection rate.

Regarding the stricter lockdown, Taposh gave some specific guidelines and asked all concerned to abide by those.
He said the infection rate among the residents at the beginning of lockdown and the present rate of infection is almost same which is not acceptable.

He said residents of the houses having COVID-19 patients won’t be allowed to step out of their respective residences. The e-commerce platforms will have to issue a list of service providers, he added.

Besides, all government and private offices, including the office of Pacific Pharmaceuticals Limited, of the area will remain shut, he said, adding that one of the three super shops of the area can remain open.

He requested all to maintain the recommended health guidelines and sought cooperation from all to implement the directives.
Moreover, coronavirus claimed 51 people more and infected 3,034, taking the death toll to 2,547 and increasing the total number of cases to 1,99,357 in the country today, said the Directorate General of Health Services. The additional director general of DGHS, Nasima Sultana revealed the latest information on the daily online bulletin on the COVID-19 situation on Friday.

Though it appears that the number of coronavirus cases has marked a fall over last two weeks, health experts said the positive case rate is actually now higher than in the past as the transmission is gradually growing for lack of effective preventive measures.