Strengthen surveillance in border districts

The government has extended the current restrictions for an additional week until May 30 to contain growing infections of the deadly coronavirus after the Eid holiday. However, restaurants and public transport will remain outside the scope of the restrictions. No less than 25 people died from the new coronavirus in 24 hours until Monday morning with 1,441 new infections.

Although public transport operated in the districts, inter-district public transport was closed during Eid. Train and launch services were also closed. Inter-district transport resumed its activities with half of its capacity from May 24. Such an initiative will reduce the suffering of commuters and provide relief to workers in the transport sector.

During Eid-ul-Fitr, people traveled in microbuses, vans, autorickshaws and even trucks at high fares risking their lives. Previously there was an arrangement to buy food in restaurants but there was no possibility to sit and eat there. A small number of hotels and restaurants are also open from Monday.

Restrictions have been announced since April 5 to fight the second wave of coronavirus infections. The issue of maintaining the balance between life and livelihood is very important. When there are restrictions, the economy contracts and the extremely poor and low-income people are at great risk.

In this situation, the need to introduce public transport and keep hotels and restaurants open cannot be denied. The government proposes to strictly follow the health guidelines, but it is not an easy task to enforce them. As there is neglect among the people, there is also neglect in the relevant government agencies. There is no alternative to implementing the “No Mask No Service” program.

The situation was improving with the imposition of lockdowns and restrictions at the start of the second wave of coronavirus infection. The situation in Bangladesh is still under control, especially compared to neighboring India. Meanwhile, it is concerning that the Indian variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Bangladesh. Although the government closed land ports with India, it could not be fully implemented. The import and export of emergency goods at the border continues. Many people stranded in India have also returned to the country.

Coronavirus infections are relatively high in seven border districts after the Eid holiday, according to Prothom Alo. These districts are Jashore, Satkhira, Jhenaidah, Chuadanga, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Sylhet. It is certainly related to the trip to India. Of the 146 coronavirus patients admitted to Rajshahi Medical College hospital on Saturday, 77 were residents of Chapainawabganj. The situation in other border districts is easily predicted when so many people are affected in one district. Many do not even observe compulsory isolation.

In this case, there is a risk of increased infections. Ahead of the Eid holiday, the Indian strain of coronavirus was identified in different parts of the country. Therefore, in order to keep the level of infection at a tolerable level, there is no alternative to increased surveillance in all border districts and to force every citizen to comply with sanitary rules.

About Warren Dockery

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