Thursday 28 May 2020 ,
Latest News
COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh exceed 40,000; 15 more die in 24 hrs | COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh exceed 40,000; 15 more die in 24 hrs | Dhaka-bound people’s rush at Shimulia ghat raises fear of virus spread | 5-member probe body formed over United Hospital fire | Dhaka-bound people’s rush at Shimulia ghat raises fear of virus spread | General holidays won’t be extended after May 30 | COVID-19: Bangladesh reports 22 new deaths, 1,541 cases in 24hrs | Public transport to run in a limited scale: Minister | More than 1 in 6 youth out of work due to coronavirus: ILO | Coronavirus: Global death toll reaches 3,55,653 | Coronavirus Hotline Numbers: 01944333222, 16263, 333; website: www.corona.gov.bd |
7 May, 2020 01:59:35 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 May, 2020 02:32:04 PM

Print

COVID-19 in Bangladesh: What to do

People of low-income or the day-laborers are now starving. They are not getting relief materials sufficiently from the government
Prithula Prosun Puja
COVID-19 in Bangladesh: What to do

In Bangladesh, COVID-19 pandemic has taken a dangerous turn with the number of patients multiplying every day. As of 6th May, 186 deaths and 11719 confirmed cases have been recorded.

While the first three cases were reported on 8 March, 2020 by IEDCR, the death rate is increasing alarmingly. Even in every 2/3 days, cases are doubling here. At this moment, Bangladesh is carrying the high death rate among other infected countries in South Asia. But outside government records, reportedly many people are dying with COVID-19 symptoms.

The pandemic of coronavirus started in Wuhan, a province in China in November 2019. By the beginning of 2020, the virus spread with its significant infectious ability and high rates of death shattering the world economy. From then to March 2020, Bangladesh got enough time for taking measures to fight against this virus. As far as the people are concerned, our government assured us that Bangladesh is strong enough to tackle the problem. But as the time passes away, we are realizing these are mere talltalks.

Restricting airlines should have been our first and foremost concern. The airport administrations put on alert for the first time on 22 January, to arrange the screening of air passengers coming from China only. A number of 312 citizens arrived here on 1 February from Wuhan. They were taken for 14 days quarantine. Despite huge spread of virus in Italy, international flights carried foreign passengers including Italians. Amongst them two men and one of their relatives were tested the first three COVID-19 confirmed cases in Bangladesh. Even after this, 142 passengers arrived here from Italy on 19 March, who were allowed to go home due to poor condition in Ashkona Haji camp. Unfortunately these people didn’t abide by the advice of self-isolation in their own place.

The measure of social distancing is not well-organized. The government declared general vacation for long without restricting mass transports. As a result, rush took place with crowds in all kinds of local and long-root transports. Initially, the government failed to restrict a ban on prayers in mosques. Even it could not convince imams to obey the guidance. Despite government directions, people continued to visit relatives, friends to the marketplace without maintaining social distancing.

The country needs to be more active in enforcing social distancing. Till now the number of testing is not enough. In this overpopulated country, we need to test more to ensure proper isolation for the positive cases. We are also lagging behind in treating COVID-19 patients also. Our government assured us about the sufficiency of PPE. But in the early days, these servicemen were not getting them sufficiently. They were provided with raincoats instead of PPE, with duplicate N-95 masks, their goggles and gloves are not at all proper for use. We have already lost Dr. Moyeen Uddin. Till today, the number of infection among doctors, nurses, health workers is growing rapidly. Police personnel are also getting infected in high numbers.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced a big economic stimulus package. But during lockdown, garment workers didn’t get their salary timely. Moreover, the authorities of garments industries once decided to open factories, mills, and forced the laborers to join their works. Thousands of garment workers had to come across long distances being scared of losing jobs. Again, they had to go back homes as the decision was reviewed. That not only caused huge suffering to them, their gatherings could have infected a lot of people also.

People of low-income or the day-laborers are now starving. They are not getting relief materials sufficiently from the government. But unfortunately, a large portion of relief materials including rice has been stolen by the authorities entitled for distribution. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declared zero tolerance for the persons accused of corruption, nepotism and undue influences, which is a hope.

In this crisis, the government should pay attention to some special issues. We know our country well. It is a gift for us. Here we find on a road or way anywhere a child wandering about or lying down. A lot of children, we know, have no home, no parents or guardians to take care of them. They do any kind of work at different places to manage some foods or shelter. There are lots of young people, students, well-off persons, or philanthropists who look after them, give food, or try to ensure for them a minimum education, necessary clothing, and most importantly filial love and mental care. Due to this lockdown, street children are at their worst situation ever. As people are not being able to help them now, they are not getting any work or income to manage their lives every single day. Coronavirus has made them even more vulnerable. The local government and administrative body have to ensure safety for them. They are the children of our nation, a part of our future.

Besides street children, we must admit the sufferings of elder citizens, sick people, and special differently-able children. These people are at a higher risk now. It’s a critical situation for them as the country is going through the pandemic. Limited scopes or programmes provided with them must be advanced and monitored more sincerely. We know abiding by the simplest hygiene measures are nearly impossible for them. Even if proper isolation can be possible, it will be a threat to their daily lives. Nevertheless, they may need any kind of medical aid anytime, which has been mostly uncertain in this crisis. Therefore, the government should have distinct packages and programmes for these poor people. They should not be taken as burdens for us.

Thirdly, cleaners are also performing duty during this pandemic. Their tasks are highly necessary now to fight coronavirus. But it is important to note the fact that they are mostly a part of our marginalized community. If the country fails to ensure proper health and hygiene for them, they will spread the virus massively. Though they are not directly under city corporations, these institutes can take measures regarding this issue. The initiative of Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor to support 5000 families of poor, low-income people, such as day labourers, rickshaw pullers, small business owners, factory and apparel workers, household helps, etc.

Next we have to our tribal community. These people are always several steps behind the others. Geographical positions, languages, physical specialties, ethnic culture, etc. being factors of their lagging behind. During the lockdown of COVID-19, a lot of tribal families are suffering from hunger and other difficulties. If government funds of relief, foods, stimulating packages are not stretched out to them, they will suffer a lot.

Finally, the country must pay attention to the heroes of our land, our farmers, the leaders protecting the backbone of our national economy. During this pandemic, the government must execute all the programmes taken for farmers or/and may take some more initiatives. Farmers are not getting fair prices of their produces or crops. They are gradually losing their interest in farming or agriculture. Now, the government can promote the establishment of farmers’ cooperatives in every union which may ensure a fair price. Again collecting crops, vegetables, fishes, milk paying a fair price, the government can provide these to cities. This will lessen both the problems of farmers and city dwellers. Even they should/can be provided with transportation cost in case of carrying crops from one place to other. In some areas, young boys, students, and BCL leaders are seen helping farmers in harvesting. They must be provided with cash incentives immediately. They must be provided with health care supports, medicines, and campaigning projects for their hygiene management. Besides this, we should realize one thing.

Fighting this pandemic as well as sustaining our economy is now our national priority. To sustain our economy we have been depending on our garment products (exporting). But the world after coronavirus may suffer from a downturn of the market. The global market and export-import policies with trading policies will change its nature. So we have to focus on our strengths where we can make our alternative choice to invest that. And definitely that can be our land and rivers.

The writer is a student of philosophy, Jahangirnagar University. E-mail: triplepm.ju@gmail.com

SH

 

Comments

Poll
Today's Question »
State minister for power Nasrul Hamid yesterday said everyone to have access to electricity by June. Do you think the feat achievable by the timeframe?
 Yes
 No
 No Comment
Yes 47.3%
No 48.7%
No Comment 4.1%
Video
More Opinion Stories
Musing on nature during global lockdown Every morning, city people generally used to wake up to a lot of traffic noise and loud honking. Now, our days start with sweet chirping of birds and blowing of cleaner breeze. Even from balcony, now we behold greener canopy and dancing…

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting