• Friday, Jan 28, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Bracing for the worst

  • Published at 08:30 pm April 30th, 2020
people queue coronavirus
Photo: RAJIB DHAR

There will be gaps in our knowledge that could potentially lead to catastrophic results

One of the biggest challenges that any nation faces in the midst of this pandemic and subsequent lockdown is how little information is available regarding the extent to which the virus has affected us, and will affect us in the future.

This means that, oftentimes, countries find themselves grappling with new information (and the lack thereof) and adapting so that their citizens remain protected, and the detrimental effects of the spread are reduced.

Bangladesh is no different.

This can be seen in the way the infection rate has increased in tune with our testing rate, with only about 500 confirmed cases in the first five weeks, jumping to over 7,000 as of now, in this ongoing eight week.

This only goes to show that, if we had not started increasing our test rates and imposed a lockdown in the way that we had, we would have absolutely no clue about the extent to which the novel coronavirus was taking root in our densely populated nation.

This, too, only remains a part of the picture, and unless and until are testing rates increase even higher and contact tracing is done extensively in the future, there will be gaps in our knowledge that could potentially lead to catastrophic results.

While it is important to remain hopeful, this lack of information also begs us to consider worst case scenarios and act accordingly. We must continue to increase testing, using technology to trace potential infections, enforce strict lockdowns and social distancing, and improve our treatment facilities, while also ensuring that the poor and the needy are provided for.

This will not be easy, but it must be done. And until we get the full picture, any laxity in this regard will result in suffering and death.

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