Reopen with stringent health safety rules
As the government has declared to reopen the country from 31 May, it is also time to introduce stringent health safety guidelines for deterring the further spread of COVID-19. Not to forget that the infection and death rate both continues to climb higher and reopening of the country in the midst is indeed a challenge.
The point, however, lifting the general holiday has both its risks and advantages. First of all it risks the possibility of multiple outbreaks throughout the country which may result in easily avoidable deaths. Secondly, the infection rate is likely to shoot up as we have witnessed so far. Concurrently, life cannot remain stagnant for too long and the economy needs to get active and functioning properly. Analysing the pros and cons, the situation demands sensible and cautious reopening of the country.
Since a full-fledged protective gears law is missing, we think it is necessary to practice mild levels of corporal punishment for violating government specified health precautionary guidelines. Monetary fines can be imposed as well. Our next door neighbour India and a number of countries in the Middle East and Europe have already introduced such legal measures to contain the virus.
We have penned our opinion by now, in favour of a law to be passed in the parliament and therefore elaborately outlined the nature of it in a commentary published yesterday, 28th May. We expect it to be considered seriously, so to ensure the people's physical well being.
In order to avoid a probable health catastrophe, we must carefully observe how other countries have eased on their respective lockdowns. Industrialized nations in Europe and Asia have begun opening up their economies by relying on continued social distancing, widespread testing, and a network of contact tracing to identify and contain new outbreaks.
South Korea has built an innovative digital infrastructure to identify and track every new Coronavirus case within its borders. Germany has set the standard for preventative testing and an incremental, staged plan for reopening. Moreover, public-health officials in different countries have insisted that the only way to contain future outbreaks is through dogged disease surveillance. Officials must identify not only people who have been infected but also who they've come in contact with.
If needs be, the government must replicate some of the aforementioned techniques and strategies here in Bangladesh. In short, the government must not fall short of any efforts to ensure safe reopening of the country.