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8 April, 2021 07:11:32 PM
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Ensuring public hygiene is better than lax lockdown

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if 95 percent of people in an area use mask, then lockdown in that area can be avoided. Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CCD), based on recent data, said that using mask could help prevent covid-19 infections.
Majhar Mannan
Ensuring public hygiene is better than lax lockdown

Covid-19 infection has been on the rise worldwide for some time and has had an impact in Bangladesh. Since March 29, more than 5,000 new patients are being identified every day. Over the last three days, the detection rate has been more than seven thousand and for six days, more than fifty people are dying every day.  The epidemic, which lasted for more than a year, had never seen such a situation before. The number of patients being identified over the past few days suggests the death toll could rise further. To address the situation, it has been suggested to increase the ICU facilities in the intensive care units of the hospitals.
The death toll from the second wave of infections has skyrocketed since last month.

The government has already announced a nationwide lockdown to control covid-19 virus infections. Lockdown is undoubtedly an effective and appropriate project method to deal with coronavirus but in our country context lockdown is a very challenging issue. However, if strong and effective lockdown can be ensured, then a lot of control of coronavirus can be achieved, but it is not possible to get an effective feedback with a loose lockdown. Soon after the announcement of the lockdown, a large number of people huddled together and went to their village homes without any kind of hygiene and without social distance. This makes the covid-19 virus more likely to spread rapidly. Again, there are a lot of people in different parts of the country demanding the lifting of the lockdown and there is no hygiene and no social distance.
Usually lockdown means everything is blocked but the way we are following lockdown here is not a complete lockdown.

Everything is supposed to be closed in the lockdown except for the most urgent need, but here it is seen that there is a lot open in the lockdown. According to some health experts, there was no need for a nationwide lockdown, but it was enough to impose a lockdown on areas where the infection was most prevalent. The government wants to protect both life and livelihood and that is why an effective and coordinated measure is needed. A lot of people in Bangladesh are poverty-stricken and 80% of working people make a living by working in various types of private sectors and it is very difficult to balance their livelihood.  The concerned authorities should consider the matter of income of marginalized and working people on the one hand and take strong and effective measures against corona virus on the other. Small traders have demanded the withdrawal of the lockdown and further demanded to keep their shops open. The Covid-19 situation has been prevailing for more than a year and many people have lost their livelihoods and become poor in the long lockdown last year. At the end of 2019, the poverty rate was 20 percent but it has risen to about 40 percent due to the epidemic and lockdown. It has become really difficult for the poor people of the country to withstand the new pressure because on the one hand the rise in commodity prices and on the other hand due to the lockdown they are really in hard situation today. No matter how short the lockdown is, all of a sudden it creates huge financial pressure on the common people. A financial assistance can be ensured on an emergency basis by compiling a list of the poor with the help of local governments. There has been a traffic crisis since the lockdown was announced and office-goers have to pay double or triple the fare.

Meanwhile, during the lockdown, many people are seen walking in the market and on the streets without mask. There is a lot of reluctance among the people to use mask and follow the hygiene rules. Public gatherings could not be completely avoided as there were no vehicles. Due to lack of vehicles many people could not go to their work place on time and as a result they have protested and gathered in different places.
The RAB, police, the local administration and the city corporation have carried out various operations to keep the people in good health, but it was not very well organized and comprehensive. However, the lockdown may not continue for a long time, the highest priority should be given to hygiene. There is no need to continue the lockdown for a long time if the hygiene can be properly ensured. In order to survive, people have to come out of the house, earn money and support their families, so it is best to follow the rules of hygiene. The government can take some effective steps so that the people follow their hygiene rules.
The vaccination process needs to be expedited as prolonged lockdowns will not be advisable. People in areas where the coronavirus can spread rapidly need to be vaccinated quickly. The lockdown puts a huge strain on the economy and has a negative impact on people's livelihoods, so people need to be vaccinated as soon as possible and the lockdown needs to be avoided. Experts have repeatedly emphasized the use of mask, wash hands with soap and maintaining social distance. One of the easiest ways to prevent Covid-19 is to use mask. Mask not only protects us from coronavirus but it also protects us from dust and polluted air. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if 95 percent of people in an area use mask, then lockdown in that area can be avoided. Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CCD), based on recent data, said that using mask could help prevent covid-19 infections. The CCD also says that coronavirus infection is not declining in areas where mask is not being used.

A number of strategies can be applied to motivate people to use mask. 1. No mask no service initiative does not seem to be effective. If it can be truly implemented, it must be somewhat successful. 2. Surveillance should be increased at various road junction, cheek posts and crowded places. 3. Mosque-based campaigns can be run, especially on Fridays. 4. This problem can be solved somewhat by distributing mask among the floating people. 5. People need to be involved in this regard locally and through the elders of the neighborhood. 6. Institutional and accommodation based activities should be carried out. 7. Where many people work together, it is important to ensure mask and need institutional supervision. 8. People need to be better informed about the danger of not using mask.  9. People can be made aware by miking in crowded areas. 10. Ensuring people's mask in public transport. 11. The number of mobile courts in Dhaka city can be further increased. 12. Print media, mass media and social media can play a vital role to motivate the people.  Most people in Bangladesh are not aware of horrors of covid-19. If people can be truly made aware of the horrors of it, it will bring benefits. The easiest way to make people aware by involving the local people's representatives.

The writer is Assistant Professor, B A F Shaheen College Kurmitola, Dhaka Cantonment.
 

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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.

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