Monday, 27 September, 2021

Mad rush: An ominous indication

In the last two days, people, particularly the garment workers, were seen rushing towards the capital and its surroundings to save their jobs following the decision of reopening industries from August 01 instead of August 05, the date earlier declared as the probable time of opening factories after the ongoing lockdown is over. The marginalised people tried to return to their workplaces by whatever means they could manage, counting three to four times higher than regular fare. Health guidelines were mostly neglected, actually impossible to maintain, during the mad rush, increasing the risk of further deterioration of the Covid-19 situation.

While the increasing number of casualties, higher infection rate, lack of ICU and general beds in hospitals and inadequate healthcare facilities for Covid-19 patients are being thought to be a bad omen, factory owners are hardly caring about the issues. If not, for what they have compelled a large number of people, who left the capital for villages to celebrate Eid with their families, to come back to their workplaces without ensuring a feasible transportation system? Though the policymakers initially allowed garments owners to reopen factories on the condition of running the factories with workers residing nearby areas, some owners have reportedly issued notice to all employees to be present in factories on the given date, leaving no option for the workers to stay at home till the end of the lockdown.

Maybe losing the second spot in the garment exporters’ list to Vietnam after a decade has triggered off reconsidering the garment reopening date; still, the process could have been smoother. If they think factories’ reopening was unavoidable, allowing long-route transports maintaining health guidelines for garments workers would have provided better results, considering the risk factors of coronavirus spread and the expenditure of these poor people. Spending almost 24 hours to decide to permit public transports to run till noon yesterday is another example of indifferent approach to the Covid-19 situation.

Every time a decision is taken, its likely aftermath is hardly taken into consideration, seemingly taking it for granted that people would follow instructions accordingly and willingly. Obviously we have failed to learn from the past agonizing episode of the pandemic. More dangerous days are awaiting us.