Lockdown still equally relevant

3 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

As the number of corona infections and deaths keeps rising in seven bordering districts with proof of presence of the Indian variants of the coronavirus Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has empowered the local authorities to impose strict lockdown on those administrative zones to check the spread of the bug in the country.

Lockdown in infected places have been found to be the most effective measure in reducing Covid-19 infection rate. Thus, when all other steps fail to deter the rise of the infection, countries choose this hardest of all measures. With stronger new Covid-19 variants ravaging our neighbouring India, both the countries imposed strict travel restrictions to deter spread of the virus. But the long porous border is not easy to manage, as the people share a common heritage, culture and even familial ties. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before the Indian variants would spill over into our bordering districts and townships.

As expected, the Indian variant of coronavirus was discovered in Chapainawabganj following an alarming rise in infection rate reaching 55 per cent Covid-19 positivity. The district administration imposed a strict lockdown from May 24 for seven days, which was extended to June 7 as it reaped good results by reducing the infection rate. All kinds of vehicles are to be kept off the roads during the lockdown except ambulances, and vehicles carrying goods or patients. Vehicles from Rajshahi and Naogaon are not allowed to enter or depart Chapainawabganj during the lockdown. All shops and haats are closed except grocery shops, kitchen markets and pharmacies.

Local authorities are delaying lockdown on these bordering districts as it is the annual mango season, and best varieties of the king of fruit are produced here. Keeping the lucrative seasonal trade in view, a limited lockdown in the mango districts should be imposed to restrict movement of people to prevent spread of the virus to other parts of the country.

Authorities suggest that mangoes can be traded in designated places maintaining safety. Transportation of mangoes can be operated through courier services for which the local administration can take necessary steps. It is essential to deter movement of people in the affected areas except for emergencies, to check the spread of the virus all over the country. Lockdown is still very much essential as a tool to fight the deadly virus.