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POST TIME: 6 April, 2020 11:54:10 PM
Social distancing flouted with impunity

Social distancing flouted with impunity

When the world is grappling with the soaring numbers of Corona Virus cases, the age old aphorism: ignorance is bliss seems to be impacting most people as the need for social distancing is being flagrantly breached by the masses. The callous and to a large extent criminal declaration that garment factories will open led millions to take to the highway towards the capital without any concern for the spread of the virus. A similar scene was seen in the southern city of Barishal where people thronged at the bus stations to come to Dhaka and join their respective posts at the textile factories.

Similar scenes were seen in other districts too where people became desperate to come back to the capital. The much publicized social distancing simply crumbled.

Now there are several ways of looking at this and the first is from the perspective of the quarter which decided to open the factories when it was quite clear that unless strict isolation is maintained, Bangladesh may face an explosion of Corona Virus cases.

When first world countries are struggling to cope with their state of the art equipment, a widespread outbreak in Bangladesh will bring devastating consequences.

Therefore, for all developing nations, the best path is prevention, which means stringent enforcement of social distancing.

By asking the workers to come back, the whole preventive measure has been subverted. The decision was finally withdrawn though by the time the preposterous and highly harmful step was rescinded, many workers had already come to Dhaka on foot in terrible heat.

What is most shocking is that several garment owners, reputed to be successful entrepreneurs, were posting comments on Facebook in support of the opening of the factories.

Naturally, when such educated people are unable to see the grave danger their decisions may cause, ordinary workers will throw caution to the wind to flout safety regulations. The authority must take a very strict stance against any move which tries to...