Salute to Covid-19 frontline fighters battling under PM’s bold leadership
We can't help but remember an old saying referring to a soldier's courage on the battle ground, it says: Being a soldier is more than courage, it's sacrificing yourself for something greater than yourself.
The saying appears cent percent applicable, glorifying our frontline fighters engaged in the battle to defeat the Coronavirus from day one. The collective war against the unprecedented pandemic would have been out of our hands long ago - had not our frontline fighters had enthusiastically come forward to battle it. And as we salute those brave and uncompromising heroes, we go beyond the range of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers.
After a protracted 66 days of general holiday the country has reopened. Though the Covid-19 risk is on the rise both in terms of death and infection. The infection in the country has crossed 50,000 and in one day on Tuesday (yesterday) 37 die of Covid-19 and a record number of 2911 have been infected during the day. The countrywide lockdown has been unlocked giving importance to both life and livelihood. Looking back to the critical period of lockdown if we do not passionately thank those tireless persons who have kept the country running at the cost of undertaking a massive health risk it would be too unkind and sheer ungrateful.
First in line stand our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, who despite limited preparations and resources have set a glaring example of self sacrifice while on duty. Many have even contracted the deadly virus treating patients and 12 doctors have so far gave their lives. But the more they had suffered, the more determined they have become to serve the people.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) both have played a crucial role in providing information and campaigning to combat the pandemic round the clock. The daily on-line media briefing has kept the people informed about the Covid-19 situation across the country.
Frontline senior and junior doctors of our public and private hospitals have come under a single platform to provide services going beyond their normal routine hours. It would be an ingratitude if we do not mention the untiring work shifts of our male and female nurses, in their dogged determination to save lives.
Our Armed Forces and law enforceing agencies have tried to combat Covid-19 by deterring mass gatherings and crowding in open roads and public places throughout the country. Had they been not there for us, transmission would have sky rocketed long ago. Moreover, it was encouraging to note that how proactively and humanely they had responded to the national crisis.
The army, navy and air force personnel in particular had engaged themselves in distributing relief materials among the poor. They even contributed their own money and ration items.
The RAB, police and the BGB had not only engaged in regular patrolling of our streets , but have relentlessly kept issuing health and safety warnings through mikes and loud speakers to convey all instructions regarding the pandemic prevention. In some places they helped the marginal people with relief materials. The infection in police force was high but that did not dampen their moral to perform their duty even at the cost of high pandemic risk.
Our bankers have worked during lockdown providing services to the public, so much so that many banks had operated until the last day before Eid. They also ensured uninterrupted functioning of ATM services for instant cash. Despite a few hiccups here and there, the banking authorities have largely managed to clear payments to workers and labourers with untiring efforts. The banking sector has also been upbeat in terms of distributing stimulus packages and low interest loans to the business community.
Similarly our suppliers and shopkeepers had been busy for supplying and selling daily essentials operating within a specified timeframe. They had been markedly patient in tackling panic buying throughout the lockdown phase.
And had our municipal workers and cleaners not functioned diligently, all our major cities would have been turned into unliveable garbage dumps. They also deserve special thanks for disinfecting our localities with antiseptic spray and chemically treated water. Surprisingly enough, the Dengue outbreak that we had feared has not occurred as yet. The credit goes to them as they regularly sprayed all city wards with mosquito spray.
The energy sector deserves appreciation as the power supply all over the country remained uninterrupted throughout the lockdown period. Also the water supply was normal and for that thanks to WASA.
It would be a gross injustice if we undermine the role of national media. Reporters and camera men of almost all electronic and print media had jumped right into the crisis ignoring all health risks. Some of them lost their lives by contracting the deadly virus, many are undergoing treatment. Without their unflinching support to provide information about Covid-19 the people would have been in the dark. The media not only made people conscious about the pandemic but it also stopped infodemic by giving facts against rumours and fear mongering.
Taking every single known and unknown individual's contribution into consideration, we are thankful to all for uniting to combat the deadly pandemic. On that note, many small and big businessmen as well as innumerable individuals had initiated charitable works, purposefully staying anonymous. We thank those unsung benevolent persons.
Altogether, the spirit of unity and sacrifice in the time of a global and national health crisis, reminds us of our unbending struggle for our national independence and freedom in 1971. However, it is inspiring that many years later that undying spirit has made a comeback to fight a different war at a different time but under a strikingly similar leadership of the country's Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
In 1971 during our War of Liberation Bangabandhu was our source of courage and inspiration. During present war against Covid-19 pandemic it is Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who is leading the nation.
Yes, it is time to thank the leader to have led her people from the top. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has once again set a glaring example of incisive leadership at the time of a national crisis. Her relentless engagement with doctors, health authorities, local administration and regular appearance in the media has bolstered the peoples' morale to a greater degree.
Given her perpetual commitment she never made the people feel alone and helpless in this Corona war for a single day. She had announced stimulus packages in phases to all sectors, including export-oriented industries, SME's and even farmers. Since day one she has been living on that famous Winston Churchill quote - "Success is not final and failure is not fatal. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
She has, to this moment has been delivering on that promise. We are yet far from successfully eliminating the Corona curse from Bangladesh and we will have to coexist with the deadly virus.
We will have to build our lives in the new normal by giving more and we will have to go forward with this challenge. And we have full faith in the leadership that is directing us towards that goal and we get our confidence from the peoples resilience which this nation has proved during many crisis in the past.