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Country braces for second virus wave

Published : 29 Oct 2020 08:49 PM

The country’s health sector has now turned around, and is prepared to face a likely second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Against the backdrop of widespread criticism over various irregularities, corruption and scams, the health sector has overcome many of the challenges like in providing treatment and increasing sample testing capacity as well.

The Director-General (DG) of the World Health Organization has also praised the success of the corona crisis handling in Bangladesh. Amid the corona crisis, the way in which doctors, nurses, and health workers have been playing their roles as ‘frontline fighters’ is globally acclaimed.

Public life across the country is now normal after overcoming the anxiety of coronavirus first phase. The economy is back on track; nearly everything has been re-opened except for educational institutions.

According to the Worldometer, in the last week’s global tally of coronavirus statistics Bangladesh stands at 18 for infection cases and at 31 for the death rate. Bangladesh is far behind other top infected countries like the United States, India, Brazil, Russia, France, Spain, Argentina, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Iran, Italy, Chile, Germany and Iraq respectively.

The figure also reads that coronavirus deaths in Bangladesh are much lower than in other countries. The average death rate is only 1.46 percent in Bangladesh as against the global average of 4 percent. Even in terms of death, Bangladesh is below these countries. Bangladesh is after Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, Ukraine, Belgium, Pakistan, Netherlands, Canada, Romania, Ecuador, Bolivia, Sweden, and Egypt.

The first phase of corona infection is not over as yet. In the meantime, with the coming winter season in mind, there is anxiety over a second phase of the infection. Experts are also advising everyone to be careful in the event of a second phase of the infection.

Former Vice-Chancellor (VC) and Virologist at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Nazrul Islam said that although there were challenges in the early stages of Covid-19 infection, the scope and quality of hospital services have improved along with increasing of the testing capacity. Even after this, steps have to be taken to fill the gaps. In many countries, the second phase of the deadly infection has been noticed.

“There is also a kind of laxity among the people regarding adhering to hygiene rules. Due to these reasons, there is a risk of infection in the second phase.”

He thinks that in order to prevent that infection as well as to ensure health care, a roadmap has to be prepared now and full preparations have to be made accordingly. 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also directed the health department to make preparations in the event of a second phase of the infection. Following the directive of the Prime Minister, the health sector has started preparations to deal with the second phase of the infection.

Regarding this, Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Zahid Maleque told the media that the infection is not on the rise in the country due to the necessary steps being taken by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to prevent and control corona. Infections and deaths are lower than in other countries. This proves that Bangladesh has succeeded in preventing the rapid spread of corona.

Recently, the Prime Minister had also praised the health department for its success in curbing corona spread. Under her guidance and leadership, all the ministries and departments are working together to prevent corona. The use of masks as part of infection prevention is being made mandatory.

No Mask, No Service - Service activities are being launched in government institutions with this slogan. In other words, without wearing a mask, government services will not be provided.