We are relieved to note that there is a marked decline in infections and deaths from coronavirus following the recent lockdown. We hope that this trend of decline in coronavirus cases will continue unabated till there is not a single new case in the country. But this dream can only come true if it is possible for us to continue the health restrictions through the entire month of Ramadan. Despite the upcoming holidays for the annual religious festival of Eid, it would be beneficial if the ongoing health restrictions could be extended to prevent people from travelling carelessly to their homesteads keeping in mind the welfare of the teeming millions.
Lockdown is not an easy decision for the government to make or enforce, as it affects the economy adversely. Furthermore, enforcing lockdown during the biggest festivals which involve huge business transactions is the toughest for the government and the people alike. But following the sudden rise in coronavirus infections and death resulting from a second wave, the government had to not only take this tough decision, but also enforce it to some extent firmly.This time the government has been somewhat flexible by keeping the export oriented manufacturing units exempted from the lockdown restrictions. In connection with that to enable the RMG export business to run smoothly, the banks are also kept open for a limited number of hours every day. Also, the shop owners of Bangladesh appealed to the government that they cannot pay rent and salary if shops remain closed, and as this sector employs a huge number of people, therefore to appease them, the government allowed the malls and shops to open up for business keeping the Eid festival in mind. But it must be ensured that shoppers and salespeople always wear masks and use sanitizers to deter spread of the virus.
We appreciate the government policy of firmness with flexibility. The lockdown has shown the desired result. But, we are still a long way from being totally free from coronavirus. Australia and New Zealand have successfully defeated coronavirus by enforcing lockdown, till they have zero new cases. We can do it too. If possible then restrictions should be extended till not a single new case happens.