The government is now emphasising preventive measures like wearing mask and maintaining hygiene instead of imposing fresh lockdown in the country to stem the possible second wave of coronavirus infection.
Sources at different ministries concerned including the health and family welfare ministry said the government will get tough with the implementation of its directives to save people from second time coronavirus infection if it hits the country.It also will increase testing to detect the deadly virus-infected patients and carry out countrywide campaign to make people aware about maintaining hygiene and wearing masks.
“Now the daily coronavirus infection case detection rate is around 10-11%. If the daily case detection rises more than this consistently for two consecutive weeks and the uptrend continues, we will consider it a second wave of the virus infection in the country,” Virologist DrNazrul Islam, a member of National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told daily sun.
He said there is no alternative to maintaining necessary preventive measures like wearing mask and washing hands with water and soap frequently.
“This time we will not advise to impose lockdown if the country is hit by the second wave of coronavirus infection, rather we will ask the government to follow the mop-up system. As per the mop-up system, the Covid-19 patients have to be tested and isolated,” Nazrul Islam said.
The experts said it is difficult to implement lockdown in Bangladesh which is a largely populated country with high density. At the same time, the lockdown method seriously hampers normal life of the people and affects the country’s economy.
Briefing the reporters on November 2, Cabinet Secretary KhandkerAnwarul Islam said: “The government is yet to think about lockdown as the situation is still under control by the grace of Almighty Allah.”“If we all wear masks, we can stay in comfortable zone as the Prime Minister mentioned earlier. We will ensure that people without wearing mask won’t be able to avail themselves of services at government offices. All ministries have been informed of the matter,” Anwarul said.
The health ministry sources said it has already taken initiative to increase coronavirus testing facilities as already 115 RT PCR labs are carrying out coronavirus test across the country and the government is also going to start antigen test service immediately.
Speaking at an inter-ministerial meeting at his office on Tuesday last, health and family welfare minister ZahidMaleque said many countries in Europe has declared second or third lockdown already, as the second wave of coronavirus infection has already started. “There is a fear of second wave of virus infection in Bangladesh in the upcoming winter.”
Claiming that the health sector has capacity to face the second wave of coronavirus infection, the health minister said if people are not aware and do not follow the rules of hygiene, it may cause fear again in future.
“Therefore, in order to stop the second wave of corona, there is no alternative but to follow the hygiene rules. Especially wearing a face mask is very important at this time. That is why steps will be taken soon to make it compulsory for everyone to wear a face mask until the vaccine arrives,” he added.
Sources said committees formed in district and upazila levels on Covid-19 will carry out campaign to make people aware about wearing mask and maintaining hygiene across the country ahead of the possible second wave of coronavirus infection.