Ensure concerted efforts to tackle C-19
It is more than a year already passed since Covid-19 has gripped the world. When the corona pandemic hit hard the world first, it was thought from every corner of the world that the invention of vaccine is the only solution to combat the global health crisis. But how far we have tackled the corona crisis when the vaccination is undergoing amid the countries? In this circumstance there may be the questions; are all the countries getting the same privilege to the access of Covid-19 vaccine? How far vaccine is effective against new variant of coronavirus infection?
However, a few vaccines have been shown safe and effective in large-scale clinical trials. But are those accessible to the poor and middle income countries proportionately? It is evident that in most cases the rich countries are taking the lion's share of the vaccines.
Amid the vaccination, unfortunately in the first week of March this year, the infection rate along with death rate made a big jump which has made us think anew. This time the country is undergoing the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic which is apparently bringing more devastations in respect of infection and death. Experts blame the gross violation of health guideline for the recent surge of coronavirus in the country.
However, to tackle the surge of new corona infection, the government took many initiatives. Among those, wearing mask is mandatory for officers, staff and service recipients in government, semi-government, autonomous and private offices. The government strongly recommended that no services would be availed if the recipients were not found wearing mask.
Despite all these the infection has gone up dramatically and the government finds no alternatives to contain the spread of Covid-19 infection by implementing strict lockdown. In the country the first phase of lockdown started on April, 14, 2021 for a week and subsequently it keeps ongoing until 16 May, 2021.
It is undeniable that amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, life and livelihoods have been addressed deeply. For the poor and small income communities, livelihoods matter the most. Strict lockdown may be the last weapon to control the movement of the public that ultimately works to contain thespread but prolonged lockdown may add the sufferings of the poor and informal workers. Similarly, the country may face a huge economic turbulence. But in many cases, to ensure the rapid response the government hardly has any ways better than ensuring lockdown.
Last year amid the countrywide lockdown the instance of generosity of the affluent was praiseworthy as from national to community levels the affluent people, different organizations and many more volunteer squads were found to extend their helping hands to the vulnerable and poor communities but in this lockdown we hardly find this type of generosity among the rich and affluent ones. Some initiatives from the government are ongoing but it is tough to tackle the woes without the full engagement of public and private ventures in this regard.
On top of that, the syndicates of traders and importers usually see lockdown as an opportunity to hike the prices in several phases with no satisfactory reason. These syndicates are active enough to implement their ill-intention of price hike. Apart from this, amid the Ramadan they usually see another scope to hike the price of the essentials bringing woes for the small income people that should be addressed with taking strict initiatives by the concerned body of the government.
It is obvious that with considering the loss of the traders the government has allowed to reopen shops and shopping malls on a limited scale following the health guidelines strictly. Usually many are found in a rush to complete their shopping ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr that causes heavy crowd in the market and in many causes the visitors are found reluctant to follow the heath guidelines spontaneously.
Visitors are asked by the authorities to wear masks and wash their hands in the temporary basins. But who is bothered about this? Even the shop owners are not asconcerned about the health safety of the customers as of their business. Actually things cannot be effective as long as we are all conscious together.
Certainly, the government has the responsibilities to force people to follow health guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19. But can we deny that we do not have any responsibilities in this regard? Obviously, we cannot do as living in the community we have many things to do for others. As the virus is transmitted through the community, the solution has to come out of the community and it is imperative to bear in mind that social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement, rather now is the time to ponder over the context of social commitment for the sake of easing the hurdles we are undergoing bitterly.
It has been a praiseworthy initiative that vaccination is ongoing amid the rapid surge of covod-19. But we cannot expect a maximum outcome until the nation undergoes massive vaccination as it finds no alternative to the long-term solution of this unprecedented crisis. For this, it is time to accumulate vaccines from different sources so that no vaccine shortage is felt in the country. Not only the government but only many private funds should be raised to tackle the crisis.
However, we are fortunate enough that we have not been as vulnerable as India and many other countries are to tackle the corona woes. But it is time we were alert enough to maintain health guidelines strictly in a bid to avoid further deterioration. Even lockdown can hardly works to contain the spread of Covid-19 unless we wear mask and follow the health guidelines.
To this end, it is no denial that there finds no alternatives to ensure concerted efforts to tackle the ongoing surge of Covid-19. It is important to engage all the initiatives from Government, non-government, volunteer organizations, and above all, from the individualsto combat the Covid-19.
Alaul Alam teaches at Prime University& research scholar at the IBS