People must be cautious

13 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

‘What comes first, life or livelihood’ is the most common but critical question that faces every government around the world during the coronavirus pandemic. This dilemmatic situation is very difficult to handle, balancing between life and livelihood of mass people. While it is important to keep the wheel of the economy running, especially as far as earning the bread and butter of a large number of people is concerned, the issue of health safety is nothing less imperative. Therefore, the governments of developing or poor countries are seen compromising with the latter issues to some extend for saving the marginalised people from hunger. But such a decision has worsened the situation in almost all the cases.

While following health directives strictly would have created a considerably better balanced situation, the common people are hardly considering the fact. In the last few days, people are observed rushing to market places and roaming from shop to shop to complete their Pahela Baishakh and Eid shopping, showing complete negligence to health guidelines. They seemingly have no time to think about how strongly has the second wave of coronavirus hit the country. The new records of infection and death toll almost every day cannot even restrict them from their careless movement. The scarcity of general and ICU beds at hospitals due to the overwhelming infection rate has also failed to bring them to their senses.

Given that, there is nothing to do for the government except compelling people to stay at home by imposing a stricter lockdown. While there was a suspension on inter-district bus services and domestic flights, it has now suspended all international passenger flights for a week from April 14. Communication with other countries, particularly the countries having high infection rate, is arguably the prime reason for coronavirus spread in Bangladesh as a large number of migrant workers have returned to the country at different times but did not follow 14-days quarantine guidelines, taking advantage of government’s reluctant enforcement. Anyhow, the recent move may help contain the virus. But the decision of keeping some industries open can be a barrier to achieving desired outcomes.