As the Covid-19 second wave was waning with a gradual decline in infection and mortality rate, we were noticing a palpable sense of relief across the board over the last couple of weeks. But it may not last long as another wave is possibly around the corner. On Monday the country reported 3,050 infection cases and 54 deaths. The death toll is the highest in 35 days and the number of infections is the highest in 59 days.
This comes on the back of the spread of the so-called delta variant, first identified in India. It first sneaked into border districts through people returning from India and by now may have reached all over the country, with patients infected with this variant admitted in hospitals in Dhaka and Chattogram. Detection of black fungus in a number of patients adds to the worry.Therefore, the complacency, neglect and recklessness in the aftermath of the waning second wave may possibly trigger the third wave. In spite of the extension of ‘paper lockdown’, we are witnessing too much crowd on the roads with too little social distancing. If the government and the people at large learn no lessons from previous mistakes in containing the spread of the virus, consequences can be dire for us as a nation.
Moreover, as the virus penetrated into rural areas where testing and healthcare facilities are entirely absent, awareness about health guidelines is now all the more urgent. But making people obey the health guidelines and lockdown rules has proved to be a difficult nut to crack. The waning of the first two waves has made a large segment of the people audacious, but one cannot expect to be lucky every time, even after repeating past mistakes.
So, we must not drop the guard on health protocols too soon. Testing, strengthening healthcare facilities and vaccination must also go hand in hand. Otherwise, new variants will make rapid advances wreaking havoc to public health and the national economy. We must embolden our efforts taking lessons from past efforts.