As the coronavirus pandemic remains virulent, the on-going countrywide lockdown has been extended for another week till May 5. It is expected that the extension of the lockdown would not put fresh pressure on the public, the vulnerable, the businesses and the economy. The authorities concerned have also allowed markets, shops and shopping malls to operate from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM every day. So, from that point of view, it is a correct decision on the part of the government.
Safety first remains the correct course during a period when the pandemic rages. At this critical juncture, continued social distancing, wider public use of protective gears including facemasks, need to be maintained and followed strictly. But, it is quite unfortunate and alarming too to note that the public is still far from behaving responsibly. Health rules are seldom maintained at markets, shopping malls and other places although the government allowed their resumption on condition that the sellers and buyers would maintain proper safety protocols. As Eid approaches, the government showed leniency towards the traders by allowing their trading activities. They should now reciprocate the government’s generosity through strict enforcement of hygiene guidelines in their vicinities which is part of their civic responsibilities. Alongside, the general customers should cooperate with them by abiding by the anti-Covid-19 rules.Meanwhile, hundreds of people who went to their village homes are now returning to the capital in large numbers after the government reopened the markets and shopping malls. In the overcrowded vehicles and ferries, the retuning passengers cared less to maintain social distancing and follow the health guidelines. The phenomenon has increased the fear of fast escalation of the pathogen. The careless activities of the commuters should be stopped at once. The relevant authorities as well as the law enforcers must adopt a no-tolerance policy in this regard. They must take a hard line to defeat the lethal pandemic. It is for the wellbeing of the people that the government has taken the decision of extending the lockdown. So, people from all walks of life must pay heed to the authorities’ health instructions for their self-interest.