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ED: Re-entering lockdown with purpose

  • Published at 02:51 am July 24th, 2021
An empty street in Dhaka following the lockdown on Friday, July 23, 2021 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

We hope that the government continues to remain vigilant against Covid-19

When it comes to lockdowns, the main purpose of it should not be forgotten: To keep the spread of the coronavirus to a minimum, and to reduce the number of deaths caused by Covid-19 -- numbers which have continued to rise ever since the discovery of the Delta variant.

While panic and fear-mongering are most definitely not the answer, there is no denying that the Delta variant is proving to be a more potent form of the coronavirus, leading to higher mortality rates and lower vaccine effectiveness, for which a strict lockdown has become essential.

As such, what is important to focus on, as we enter the post-Eid lockdown, is to understand that merely the announcement of a lockdown, without strict implementation of regulations in addition to ensuring the maintenance of health and safety guidelines, will do little to solve the problem.

It is also important to stop the misinformation regarding vaccination and the new variant, and governmental efforts to vaccinate the nation should continue unabated. It must be kept in mind that “effectiveness” of vaccines is not just about how many amongst a representative sample contract the virus, but also about the long-term -- and, perhaps, more important -- issue of death prevention.

We have seen, for example, that, while the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines have more than 20 to 30 percentage points of difference when it comes to so-called effectiveness, both vaccines have been almost 100% effective in preventing deaths in patients who did end up catching the virus.

As we enter this new lockdown, we must do so with the understanding that each of us has a part to play in its success, and we hope that the government continues to remain vigilant against Covid-19, while prioritizing the needs of the most vulnerable amongst us.