• Monday, Dec 05, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

ED: The worst may be yet to come

  • Published at 08:13 pm December 28th, 2020
covid-19 crowd
Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Measures that were taken extremely seriously back in March are now being loosened nine months later

With the promise of a vaccine reaching our hands very soon, many are already celebrating as though the pandemic is over. This would, however, be a grave mistake.

While it is certainly possible that we are in the final stretch, this may indeed be the most dangerous of all periods. Much can happen between now and a full, proper vaccine rollout.

Experts have projected that Bangladesh is likely to reach its peak between January and early February of 2021. But the sad fact is, while this may be the most dangerous time for us, a certain pandemic fatigue has set in for the general public. 

As a result, many people have already relaxed their basic preventive measures. Hand-washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing all are necessary at this time, but are being neglected by many businesses and households. 

Measures that were taken extremely seriously back in March are now being loosened nine months later. This loosening, of course, has nothing to do with the actual infection rate, the mortality rate, or the availability of a treatment or a vaccine.

Earlier this year, we had lockdown measures, with good reason. Now there is no lockdown, and yet ironically, the overall danger is higher than ever before -- this fact must be made clear. Getting complacent now could result in tragedy on a wide scale.

One thing Bangladesh has regrettably failed to do is to curb large gatherings. Unnecessary gatherings of large groups absolutely cannot be allowed. The demand for hospital beds is about to soar, and it is estimated that half the population may be infected by the end of June. Covid-19, then, at this crucial time, needs to be priority number one. The government would do well to make it so.

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