• Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

ED: Maintaining a safe distance

  • Published at 01:48 pm August 28th, 2020
People get on board of an overcrowded ferry at the Sadarghat Ferry Port amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 30, 2020.  Reuters

Public awareness campaigns must continue

It is troublesome to note that in a recent study conducted by Brac and Prothom Alo, it was found that over 60% of people find it difficult to maintain safe physical distance in public places.

This is especially worrisome at a time when Bangladesh has mostly opened up its economy while, at the same time, having more than 300,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with over 4,000 confirmed deaths.

But the difficulty in maintaining social distance is hardly a surprise: With the congested nature of many of Dhaka’s streets and shops, not to mention the overwhelming population, in some places, space between individuals is impossible to maintain and is a necessary mode of conduct.

An increasing part of the problem is that, while some citizens do wish to maintain some form of physical distance, others do not -- thereby cancelling out all sincere efforts.

The survey, which also asked questions on wearing masks and maintaining personal hygiene, found issues in both these departments, finding that some people do not wash their hands due to mere forgetfulness.

As experts have said, public awareness campaigns must continue in order to ensure that the general public takes the coronavirus seriously and keep themselves and each other safe. Covid-19 is one which cannot be fought alone due to its highly contagious nature, and unless and until people start understanding the full brunt of the pandemic, things will not improve.

It is surprising that, even now, there exist people who still do not believe in the usefulness of masks -- a clear indication that we need to, for one, continue to spread the knowledge of keeping safe during the pandemic and, two, enforce social distancing and the wearing of masks in public places to higher degrees.

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