Allowing the coronavirus to get to a similar situation to that of India’s is one we cannot afford
It is worrisome to note that, despite the travel ban because of the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 4,000 Bangladeshis have returned home from India through the Benapole check post.
This news comes at a time when Bangladesh is already in the middle of a lockdown, haphazard and poorly implemented as it may be, with authorities already having detected at least 20 cases of the India variant within our borders.
Health authorities have already said that districts which share borders with India are seeing an upward trend when it comes to the number of cases of Covid-19 – India’s tally of infections now stands at 27.9 million, with the death toll over 325,000.
Considering the situation, why were 4,000 people allowed to come into the country, each with the potential to bring another case of the Indian variant into the country? Such an oversight could potentially turn Bangladesh into another hotspot for the variant, in the same way we saw in Nepal, and a similar situation like that in India would have devastating consequences for our small nation.
While the ones returning did have NOCs from the Bangladesh High Commission granting them entry, is this a process we can trust? In addition, knowing the fact that those returning from India were not being treated in the most appropriate way previously, can we trust the process to ensure that those returning are being quarantined properly and only being let go when there is no chance of them spreading the coronavirus?
At this juncture, allowing the coronavirus to get to a similar situation to that of India’s is one we cannot afford – we do not have the necessary resources, hospital beds, and health care professionals to tackle a crisis of such a magnitude.