Battling covid second wave

Steps little at terminals, railway stations

Though the second wave of Covid-19 panic runs high among people, no effective measures have yet been taken in the crowded places like launch and inter-district bus terminals and rail stations across the country.

Moving around Kamlapur Railway Station, Sadarghat Launch Terminal, Sayedabad and Mohakhali Bus Terminals, the Bangladesh Post Correspondent found no measures taken yet as like as the first wave of Covid-19 period to prevent spread of coronavirus.

“Like many people I’m also here to depart Dhaka as I want to go to my village home. As it is the busiest and big railway station in the country, which witnesses huge crowd of passengers every day, it is a serious risk of the coronavirus,” a passenger told this reporter while walking on the platform of Kamlapur railway station.

Mahbuba Sultana Sumaiya, a passenger who came to Dhaka from Sylhet by Parabat Express, said that she did not get any service from the train to protect her from coronavirus. She said, “Technically, Bangladesh is a digital country but the railway stations have not taken any measures to screen the virus.”

“Whenever anyone is coming from another part of the country, government should provide proper officials at the rail stations to check up people for the coronavirus. If anyone is found tested positive then he or she should be sent away immediately for treatment,” Saiful Islam, a railway passenger said.

However, it is learned that there is no detecting machine in the railway stations of Bangladesh such as thermal scanner. While asking about this, Mia Jahan, Additional Director General of Bangladesh Railway said, “We have taken steps to create awareness among the passengers and distributed leaflets.”

Besides, bus passengers said they have not seen any special effective measures taken by the operators. “Bus authorities must clean the dirty seats, seat covers and glasses. Cleanliness can save us from coronavirus,” Nahid Amed told the Bangladesh Post while he got down from a bus in Mohakhali bus terminal.

Another passenger, Salah Uddin, said, “I’m worried as the second wave of coronavirus has  started in our country. Despite risk, I’m still using bus as I cannot afford avoiding public transport.”

However, there is no detecting machine or sanitizer booth in the bus terminals for protecting coronavirus. Passengers urge the authorities concerned to take necessary measures to stop the 2nd spread.

Talking to The Bangladesh Post, President of Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Malik Samity Moshiur Rahman Ranga said that they have instructed bus owners and operators to keep clean their vehicles and to provide sanitizers to the passengers to prevent the 2nd wave of virus spreading.

“We’ve given some instructions to the bus owners to clean buses at the start and end of every trip, spray germicide inside the vehicles and ensure a clean environment,” he added.

Jahidul Islam, who came from Barishal by launch at Sadarghat launch terminal, said, “The authority should be careful about the people who are entering the capital from other divisions and necessary precautions should be taken at the launch terminals.” He claimed that he did not find any measures taken by the launch authorities to protect passengers from coronavirus.

Public relations officer of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), Mubarok Husen Mojumdar told the Bangladesh Post that they have taken a lot of measures in the launch terminals across the country to prevent corona. “We have set up a lot of banners and festoons to raise awareness about the virus. Already we have directed all officials of Barishal, Paturia, Chadpur and Aricha launch terminals to take effective measures to prevent the 2nd wave of coronavirus.”

However, health experts said 2nd wave of coronavirus cannot be prevented single-handedly; rather it needs combined efforts from each and every sector, not only at launch and inter-district bus terminals or rail stations but also everywhere.