No letting down the guard against Corona

Publish: 9:13 PM, September 23, 2021 | Update: 9:13:PM, September 23, 2021

Only two months ago the Corona virus threat in Bangladesh appeared dwindled down so low that people probably started speculating that it would ultimately be phased out fairly soon. From a daily death figure from Corona near 100 some months ago, the figure dipped to less than 10 or 5 or 7 and it continued like this. The rate of new infection also fell to 200 or 300 when previously it averaged near about 1,000 or more.

This state of affairs bred optimism perhaps in some official circles that Bangladesh probably had turned a corner fully in defeating Corona. The signs of relaxation were much more prominent in social life. Media reports highlighted howmobility of people had reached pre pandemic level from people sensing an ease in the corona situation.

However, later events proved that such optimisms were premature to say the least. From the daily death rate falling to 5, 6 or 7, it gradually shot up well past the double digit and continued to soar. Alarmingly, the rate of new infection too, shot up.

Thus, there is still no scope to feel relaxed that again we are turning the corner as in recent weeks cases of corona deaths and infections have dropped significantly again. We must maintain all our enthusiasms in the drive against corona shown so far . Specially, there must not be any easing of regulations against Covid-19 and taking of preventive actions. Indeed, there is now every reason for all in Bangladesh to gird up their loins and go all out in every way to ensure that corona does not get a chance to creep back in and finally create afresh concern about a resurgent corona threat once more.

The people need to be exhorted, advised and discouraged not to give up on the new normal habits they developed during the height of the pandemic last year. It should be firmly printed in the mass psyche that people must continue with the habit of wearing masks, remaining indoors as much as possible, washing hands frequently and observing social distancing even after taking the vaccine. Government should also go for stricter enforcement activities to these ends. It appears that police and others have beenlackadaisical about enforcement activities after being seen relatively more serous during certain times last year.

Our policy makers must become dead serious ‘immediately’ to formulate short term, mid term and longer term policies against the Corona threat to be applied without a pause and admitting no exceptions. It is imperative to rethink opening of the vulnerable sectors too abruptly or widely. The resorts, hotels and motels of prime tourism venues of the country reportedly are overflowing with people these days after lockdown was withdrawn. Such crowding can be a fertile source of social transmission of the disease. We think it is high time to restrict once again the visiting of people in such great number to the tourist and recreation spots. The tourism and recreation related business need to be ordered not to admit any more than half of their capacities and to observe preventive measures stringently. Law enforcement authorities should be required to monitor compliance with this order or not. Such restrictions need to be imposed and monitored immediately and unfailingly in all assemblages such as mosques, religious events, fairs, etc. We believe that the restriction must also be imposed on similar places of public gathering. Maintaining of social distancing and other preventive activities rigorously must be made mandatory.