Compel people to obey lockdown

16 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

To get a minimum benefit even from the most beneficiary policy is very difficult unless people support the decision and act responsibly to implement it. Unfortunately, we are in such a situation as far as the decision of containing the coronavirus is concerned. The government has imposed a ‘complete lockdown’ for a week to curb the deadly virus, but it will be very difficult to reap the harvest from it due to the irresponsible behaviour of the people. People’s hurry for going homes by alternative means amid suspension of public transport service before the lockdown may deteriorate the situation. The homebound people were very reluctant to follow health guidelines. They travelled by jam-packed vehicles risking infection with the virus and carrying it to their families, their villages and their communities.

Before this stricter lockdown, the transport services, especially the inter-district services, were suspended for a week, aiming to reduce the risk of the people living in less infected districts by cutting off transport with higher ones. But, the recent mass exodus from the capital has certainly put that plan at risk. Dhaka and its surroundings have one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates. Hence, the mass exodus to different parts of the country simply means spreading the deadly virus to villages. Moreover, the villagers have tendencies to break the laws as both awareness and monitoring are less in rural areas. They always think of their livelihood but forget that lives come first, not livelihood. All of these will give the new variant of coronavirus a favourable condition to spread.

It is alarming and unfortunate that the masses are averse to maintaining health guidelines, even respecting lockdown. Attention, therefore, should be given to rural areas also, along with high infected urban regions. In addition to implementing the lockdown strictly, the villages should be kept under close observation, at least for more than a week. The government should not hesitate to take tougher action or decision, like extending the lockdown period in some particular areas, if there is any need. There is no alternative to compelling people to obey the rules if they do not do it willingly.