The spread of the covid-19 virus is on the rise and the number of deaths is increasing at the same time. Delta variants are already spreading rapidly in different parts of the country, especially in the border districts.The government has imposed restrictions in various places to control the covid-19 but only vehicles are being stopped in the lockdown, health issues are being neglected and the lockdown is not being effective.
The government has imposed restrictions on communication between Dhaka and other districts to prevent the spread of the covid-19 virus in Dhaka. The number of covid patients is increasing day by day, which is putting a lot of pressure on the hospital and at the same time the ICU crisis is intensifying.
A partial lockdown has been imposed in several places, including the border areas of the country, to reduce the spread of the virus, but it has not reduced the infection but has increased it in some places. However, in places where the lockdown was closely monitored, the virus was under control, but in areas where surveillance was weak, the virus has not decreased there but has increased.
Experts say there is a tendency among the general public to ignore hygiene and if we cannot get out of it, it is never possible to reverse the spread of virus through lockdown alone. Experts say that loose lockdowns are not effective at all, but only if hygiene can be ensured with lockdowns, the spread of virus can be controlled.
Experts also say that corona virus testing needs to be increased because the higher the detection rate, the more it can be controlled. Even after the lockdown, when the infection is on the rise, the problem must be understood elsewhere, and that is the reluctance to follow the rules of hygiene. Meanwhile, relatives of infected patients are roaming freely in hospitals, increasing the risk of infection. After being in contact with Corona patients for a long time, relatives have come out and are using public transport and doing various activities including marketing which is spreading the virus.
Experts have repeatedly emphasized the use of mask, wash hands with soap and maintaining social distance. One of the easiest ways to prevent corona is to use mask. In China, where the corona virus originated, people take to the streets using mask. Researchers say that most viruses spread through the air.
A team of researchers from New South Wales says, people touch the face with their hands 23 times per hour averagely. The tendency to touch the face repeatedly increases the risk of corona virus. In this case, the use of mask reduces the risk a lot. The current market value of a mask is within the reach of any human being. So using mask is now just a matter of goodwill and awareness. The question is why people are indifferent to the use of mask.
Mask not only protects us from corona virus but it also protects us from dust and polluted air. People use mask during the raids of mobile courts but as soon as the raids are over they return to their previous state. If the people are not aware then the question remains as to how much success will come by running mobile courts.
There is no reliable calculation of the number of people floating in Dhaka city and no precise account of how many people take to streets every day. Bringing such a large number of people under the raids of the mobile courts is an impossible task. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if 95 percent of people in an area use mask, then lockdown in that area can be avoided.
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CCD), based on recent data, said that using mask could help prevent covid 19 infections. The CCD also says that corona virus infection is not declining in areas where mask is not being used. But the tendency to follow the health rules of Bangladesh seems to be weak. Indeed, the rules of hygiene cannot be enforced only through strictness and punishment. A number of strategies can be applied to motivate people to use mask.
1. No mask no service initiative does not seem to be effective. If it can be truly implemented, it must be somewhat successful.
2. Surveillance should be increased at various road junction, cheek posts and crowded places.
3. Mosque-based campaigns can be run, especially on Fridays.
4. This problem can be solved somewhat by distributing mask among the floating people.
5. People need to be involved in this regard locally and through the elders of the neighborhood.
6. Institutional and accommodation based activities should be carried out.
7. Where many people work together, it is important to ensure mask and need institutional supervision.
8. People need to be better informed about the danger of not using mask.
9. People can be made aware by miking in crowded areas. 10. Ensuring people's mask in public transport.
11. The number of mobile courts in Dhaka city can be further increased.
12. Print media, mass media and social media can play a vital role to motivate the people.
Most people in Bangladesh are not aware of horrors of corona. If people can be truly made aware of the horrors of corona, it will bring benefits. The easiest way to make people aware by involving the local people's representatives. Frankly speaking, mask is now our only hope as an alternative to the vaccine. Corona spreads to others through the corona patient's cough and sneeze. Eighty percent of those infected have no symptoms. There is no way to know who is healthy and who is sick. So using mask is the easiest solution to avoid corona. In short, failing to motivate people to use mask can lead to terrible danger.
However, until a large number of people are vaccinated against the disease, people must be forced to adhere to strict hygiene rules and lockdowns must be continued in various places depending on the situation. If Dhaka cannot be controlled from the attack of corona virus, the situation will become very dire and it will not be possible for anyone to handle it, so the decision to isolate Dhaka is quite logical. But in addition to isolating Dhaka from other districts, hygiene must be ensured for all.
Majhar Mannan, Assistant Professor, B A F Shaheen College Kurmitola, Dhaka Cantonment.