Once again we see the same mad rush of city residents towards their village homes following the lifting of a two-week strict lockdown by the government for eight days. At least, a picture of the crowded Sadarghat launch terminal published in this newspaper's yesterday issue speaks for the same. The homebound people were huddling together, caring little about health guidelines.
Not only by launch, but hundreds of thousands of people are leaving the city by buses, trains or other modes of transports. Everywhere, an intense pressure of passengers is visible. Taking advantage, bus and launch owners are carrying too many passengers defying the health rules. Allegations are rife about lax monitoring on the part of law-enforcers in this regard. Anyway, people's unrestrained movement gives an impression that the deadly virus has vanished. In reality, this is happening at a time when both the mortality and the infection rates of coronavirus are on an alarming rise.Earlier, experts warned the government against lifting the lockdown, saying it might cause an even faster spread of the Delta variant. But, ignoring the experts' warnings, the authorities concerned loosened the restrictions considering the upcoming Eid celebrations and pre-Eid trade. People as well as bus and launch owners should reciprocate the government's good intention by acting responsibly. The government should also take a tough stance so that health protocols are followed in public transports, cattle markets, kitchen markets, and shopping malls everywhere; otherwise the situation might go out of control.
The government as well as mass media have been striving to hammer home the message of hygiene rules, but it is obvious by people's dealings that they will not spontaneously follow the Covid-19 rules. So, the government must go tough against the rule flouters. Now the pathogen is on the rampage in rural areas, where medical facilities are few and far between. Infected villagers will die without treatment. Rich people will only be able to afford the high cost of transportation and treatment in cities. But, there is no guarantee that they will survive the ordeal. So, now is the time to act boldly before it is too late.