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3 April, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 April, 2020 01:49:46 AM
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Lockdown extension prudent move

Lockdown extension prudent move

While the UN is calling the global Coronavirus outbreak the biggest crisis since the Second World War, many countries in the world are extending their national lockdowns in order to stem the spread of the virus. Bangladesh has also extended the ten-day general holiday till April 11, taking the closure period to 17 days in total. Given the virulence of the virus, which is killing thousands in Europe every day, there is no other way but to ensure social distancing for a longer period. However, within the Bangladesh context, the increase of the lockdown has to be assessed keeping in mind the possible implications on trade, commerce and education.

The holy of month of Ramadan is supposed to start from the last week of April and since the lockdown period is currently up to April 11, the period between the beginning of Ramadan and the end of the restrictions is very short. Therefore, the government has to evaluate rationally if it would be politic to open the country plus the capital for just two weeks.

The campuses of universities including the Dhaka University are now closed and if they are opened for a short time, a large number of students who left the capital and other places after the holiday declaration will be forced to come back. This would mean congestion in buses and boats – something which will totally undermine the social distancing achieved by the lockdown. So, it may be prudent to keep the universities closed until the end of Ramadan.

The main challenge for the authority will be to ensure that when others who left the capital for their village homes come back, certain precautions are maintained. Jostling in buses, launches and trains will only aid the virus to spread and that’s the last thing the nation needs.

At the same time, this Ramadan, more emphasis needs to be on maintaining safe distance plus following personal hygiene related habits. Rationally speaking, minimising the flow of people towards the city will be of utmost importance in the next one month. Obviously, this would mean taking relief to the villages; therefore, the main objective at this moment should be to devise a strategy to offer essential products at low cost in rural areas.

The government in collaboration with big conglomerates can offer rice, lentils, onions and cooking oil packages throughout the month of Ramadan while the development agencies should move away from their regular projects and channel funds into emergency projects focusing on proper cleanliness.  Concurrently, local business houses should be given the task of making low cost respiratory devices, with help from young creative minds.

 

 

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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.

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