Declare ‘health emergency’
We are deeply agonized as the country witnessed its highest number of deaths in a single day - 66 people on 6 April. Just like wildfire the infection rate and deaths have continued to shoot up.
Undoubtedly, unresponsive attitude and rampant flouting of healthcare guidelines are the most important reason behind the surge. Few days back 1 lakh 22 thousand people appeared in MBBS entrance examination where no health hygiene rules were followed. Similar scenario has been noticed in BCS examination where more than 3 lakh people appeared maintaining no social distancing and health hygiene. Now we are witnessing this bleak aftermath of our pervious negligence.
Moreover, the recent spike in Covid-19 infections has turned more than half of the country's 64 districts into high-risk zones. And reportedly there are UK and South African covid-19 variants active in Bangladesh. According to Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), the number of high-risk areas has increased from 10 districts to 38 in just two weeks. Thus, it is assumed that the rate of infection and death is on the rise and it will continue for a few days.
Dhaka alone accounts for over half of the covid-19 cases in country. It won't be enough even if we turn the entire Dhaka city into a hospital. On the contrary it is worrying that people's nonchalant attitude still prevails amid this lockdown and traffic gridlock continues to erupt in some major roads. Adding extra woe to worries, public transport services resumed from yesterday.
As the pandemic grips the whole nation we are resuming almost everything and calling it as lockdown! This decision of government is not only disappointing but also very unfortunate. Apparently, it seems that the lockdown has become a joke to us. We should either impose lockdown like European nations or remove the lockdown. This lackadaisical and unresponsive lockdown will never help curb infections and deaths.
Furthermore, we have identified the high-risk, medium-risk and low-risk districts but what measures do we need to take? IEDCR's data clearly reveals that half of the country is at high risk. Inevitably, we are not taking proper measures, but we can still lessen the transmission, if we can declare 'Health emergency' countrywide for at least a month.
The government should identify the high-risk zones of those of high-risk districts to curb transmission. From 6 PM to 6 AM, a night-time curfew can be declared in each of the red zone districts. And lastly, we can arrange field hospitals in the high-risk districts where oxygen availability would be ensured. We hope our suggestions would be seriously considered.