• Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022
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ED: This is not the time to let down our guard

  • Published at 12:40 am May 30th, 2020
Coronavirus masks Bangladesh people
People walking on the road wearing mask Reuters

If we are to open up the country in any way, it must be done so with the utmost cautiousness

One of the most commendable actions taken by the government since the coronavirus pandemic infiltrated the Bangladeshi borders was its quick reaction in implementing a lockdown so that the virus would not spread at a rate that would eventually become uncontrollable.

While there were hiccups along the way, such as the decision to open up shops and allowing intercity travel for Eid, overall, the lockdown went a long way towards large gatherings of people, thereby reducing the spread of the virus.

But, even with these restrictions in place, last week has seen Bangladesh break its previous records, with its highest weekly infection rate so far, with an average of 1,538 cases per day.

As such, it is unsurprising to hear experts say that this would not be the most ideal time to be lifting the shutdown, especially when the nation is nowhere near having controlled the rate of infection enough to allow it.

While it is understandable that the economy needs to open up with millions of people across the country struggling to provide for their families, the solution cannot lie in the decision to put their lives at risk.

As it is, our health care system is already overwhelmed by the number of cases we are seeing every day, and the number of tests we are currently conducting only hint at how many people actually might have the virus among the population.

If we are to open up the country in any way, it must be done so with the utmost cautiousness, with adequate restrictions in place, restrictions which people have flouted in the past.

We cannot afford to let down our guard now -- doing so would be nothing short of disastrous for the country.