No masks: Welcoming corona again

It will affect country’s economy severely

Esaraf Hossain

19 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

No masks: Welcoming corona again

Who Cares! - Activists of a student organisation bring out a procession on the Dhaka University campus on Thursday without wearing masks though coronavirus cases are on the rise in the country. —sun photo

People from all walks of life are now avoiding wearing facemasks and maintaining other health guidelines, which has resulted in further spread of Covid-19 in the country.

People from rural to urban areas ignore the health guidelines soon after the start of the vaccination against the deadly disease in the country in February this year.

Passengers, students and workers in large numbers are also refraining from wearing facemasks and abiding by other health protocols.

Because of the gross violation of the health guidelines, coronavirus is reportedly spreading further in the country, health experts said.

People without masks are found travelling and shopping in crowded places in the capital and outside. Many gather tea-stalls, shopping malls and other crowded places without wearing masks.

According to global and national health experts, maintaining social distancing is one of the most important easier ways to stay safe from the pandemic.

Lack of proper monitoring and mass awareness about the health protocols has been blamed for the further rise in the corona infection and death cases.

The national economy will be affected severely if the corona pandemic spreads further in the country, many warned.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Zahid Maleque has urged the people to abide by the health guidelines to combat the fresh outbreak of Covid-19.

Replying to a question at a meeting in the capital on Thursday,the minister said, “We want the country’s economy to remain in stable.”

In the wake of fresh rising trend of Covid-19, law enforcers, including police and RAB personnel, are going for tough action again to force people to wear facemasks and maintain other health guidelines to fight the pandemic.

Police will get tough on violators of health guidelines, including facemask wearing, police headquarters sources said.

Earlier, police and RAB personnel played an important role in combating coronavirus at the beginning of its outbreak in the country.

Bangladesh recorded 16 Covid-19 deaths and 2187 infection cases on Thursday – the infection rate now much higher than the previous one.

According to the health authorities, 2,187 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours, raising the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 564,939.

Inspector General (IG) of Police Benajir Ahmed said Bangladesh Police will carry out a motivational programme to control the coronavirus situation from 21 March in compliance with the health rules.

The IGP has instructed all concerned to run business and economic activities in accordance with hygiene rules.

He came up with the directive at a news briefing in Rajarbagh Police Lines in the capital on Thursday noon. Everyone must wear a mask to prevent coronavirus.

No one should go out without wearing a mask. If necessary, the police will distribute free masks, said the IGP.

In the last few months, the country has witnessed a decline in both the infection and death cases due to the government’s strict preventive measures.

In December last year, mobile courts got tough on violators of health guidelines, especially facemask wearing, across the country.

The field administrations had also been directed to take appropriate measures for enforcement of the law and conduct massive awareness campaign among people to make sure that people follow the health guidelines properly, particularly wearing of facemasks.

‘If the people come to know that some people are being punished through mobile courts in transport, markets and other places for not wearing masks, they will be aware of it,’ police said.

On November 16 last year, the government asked the administration to strengthen the mobile court operation and enforce laws to ensure the use of masks, also in the capital, to check the raging Covid-19 pandemic. The government in October last introduced the ‘no mask, no service’ policy in all the government and private offices.

The government also issued an instruction to all the offices and institutions saying that masks must be used in all institutions, haats, markets, shopping malls, schools, and social and religious gatherings.

On March 24 last year, Bangladesh imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The authorities earlier imposed a ban on passenger travel via water, rail and on domestic air routes from March 24 while all public transport on roads from March 26 to stem the spread of virus.

As part of preventive measures against the disease, the closure of all educational institutions in the country has been extended until March 30 this year from March 31 last year.