Bangladesh has been experiencing a widespread transmission of coronavirus in the community for last several weeks. Scrutinising the soaring number of coronavirus infection rates in the country, it can be said that the deadly virus is spreading fast to the community level. In this critical stage, it is very important to make people stay home to quell community transmission.
In order to prevent community transmission, it is necessary to implement a system to find every suspected case at the community. In this regard, government should take necessary steps to integrate a programme to deploy health workers to go from house to house to collect samples and send them to the laboratories. It is worrying to note that despite the government announced lockdowns for the entire country, still in many places people are not maintaining social distancing.
While people around the world have been meticulously trying to maintain social distance in a bid to fight the deadly coronavirus, it seems many people in Bangladesh just couldn't care less about it to contain further spread of the virus.
Every day, hundreds of people gather at local bazaars, which are believed to be the hotspots of spreading and contracting the virus. Many people are entering and leaving Dhaka every day under the very nose of the members of the law enforcement agencies.
In this critical juncture, aggressive measures to find, isolate,
test, treat and trace 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
Law enforcers told us that they are struggling to make people stay at home in the government’s efforts to contain the deadly disease (COVID-19). No doubt, such violation of government's guidelines on public movement will frustrate government efforts to quell the spread of coronavirus
Considering the situation, law enforcers have to take furious measures in the worst-hit areas, including Dhaka, amid reports of people coming out of their homes without specific reasons and ultimately increasing the risk of further spread.
In this stage aggressive measures to find, isolate, test, treat and trace 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.
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.
There is no denying that that we have been very reluctant in our response to the pandemic. But now that this critical juncture where infection rates are increasing 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 the ongoing lockdown successful, the government must make sure that the food and financial assistance reach all vulnerable groups including middle-class. Also the government must ensure that no social gatherings, religious or otherwise, take place in the country during this time of a national health crisis.
People across the country should take the deadly disease seriously and take more precautions because even developed nations like the US are not able to stop the spread of the disease despite having the best of resources and technology.
Developed nations with lesser population, good health facilities and best of the resources and technology have not been able to stop the spread of the disease. Bangladesh being one of the most densely populated countries in the world with people still living in slums cannot afford to neglect. Therefore, we need to take more precaution.
China, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have demonstrated that, with furious efforts, the contagion can be brought to heel. Whether they can keep it suppressed remains to be seen. But for Bangladesh to repeat their successes will take extraordinary levels of coordination and money from the country’s leaders, and extraordinary levels of trust and cooperation from citizens.
Sayeed Hossain Shuvro is a member of the editorial team, Bangladesh Post