The current situation is a precarious one
It is safe to say that Bangladesh is experiencing its worst period in dealing with Covid-19 since it first appeared in March last year.
The daily deaths keep rising, registering the highest death toll every subsequent day, and the new South African variant of the virus -- about which we still have limited information -- appears to be deadlier than previous strains, and is wreaking havoc on the health of our citizens.
To that end, exercising extreme caution and following all health directives, such as wearing masks, avoiding gatherings, and regularly washing hands, simply cannot be compromised with -- as we have, unfortunately and irresponsibly, done in the past -- as any negligence will result in more lives lost.
According to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research (IEDCR) in Bangladesh, a recent study found that marketplaces and public transport remain the riskiest places when it comes to contracting the virus. While this may not be the most surprising finding, we continue to flout these rules while authorities do little to ensure that such activities are either halted or done so while maintaining proper health protocols.
In fact, with a 61% chance of contracting Covid-19 in marketplaces and public transport and 35% for public places in general, the study truly highlights how much of a risk we take every time we choose to disregard health and safety directives.
Suffice to say, with these latest findings, the government's decision to impose a hard lockdown, which will see the shutting down of both public transportation and markets, is the correct call but, without strict enforcement from the authorities, certain people will continue to put at risk not only themselves, but also the rest of this country and the livelihoods they possess which ensure they can provide for themselves.
The current situation is a precarious one, to say the least. We must make the right decisions and exercise maximum caution – otherwise, things will only get worse.