Amid a nation-wide lockdown to contain spread of COVID, the capital Dhaka is witnessing crowds and even gridlock, intensifying the process of transmitting the deadly virus to many others.
The number of coronavirus infections is increasing day by day in the country as medical scientists have emphasized the need for maintaining ‘social distancing’ to prevent social transmission.
The government is advising people to 'stay at home' during public holidays and lockdowns.
But every day a huge number of people are seen roaming in the markets and on streets and alleys of the capital Dhaka, posing risks of infecting others.
Gossiping on streets, hanging out on the sidewalk tea shops and leaving the capital Dhaka through private vehicles are common sights now a days.
Members of the traffic police and law enforcement agencies are trying to bar people from moving here and there without any valid reason. In most cases, people were making lame excuses.
When asked Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) former president Professor Rashid-e-Mahboob said social distancing must be maintained to prevent community transmission of corona disease.
“Sadly, some people are roaming aimlessly as the infection is spreading more. The government should strictly enforce the lockdown in the greater interest of the nation,” he said.
On the opening of shopping malls and markets from May 10, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the decision to open shops and markets from May 10 was taken after receiving a letter from the president of the shop owners' association.
On the other hand, president of the Bangladesh Shop Owners Association Helaluddin in a television interview said, I have decided to open the markets after receiving the letter from the commerce secretary. Those who can keep the markets open will abide by the hygiene rules.”
Professor Nazrul Islam, former Vice-Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, who is also an eminent virologist, has agreed to the notion that such a situation has arisen due to ineffective lockdown.
“The number of patients is increasing for the same reason,” he added.
“Deaths of patients are increasing due to irresponsible behavior of the doctors in the hospitals,” the former BSMMU VC said.
He suggested tightening the lockdown, as well as improving the hospital's treatment system.
Professor SM Shahid Ullah, Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) Office Secretary, who is also a prominent microbiologist, said, “Increase in mortality rate in corona depends on the type of patients. But a sudden increase in mortality is not a good sign indeed.”
Expressing concern over the rise of corona-infected patients and also deaths, he attributed relaxed lockdown to the worsening situation. With the number of deaths and infections on the rise, there is a need for extending the shutdown, he suggested.
Professor AKM Shamsuzzaman, Director at the Medicine and Referral Center of Bangladesh Institute of Laboratory (BIL), said, “We had predicted long ago that such situation would happen with the increase in the number of corona infections and deaths.”
Bangladesh recorded deaths of eight people due to deadly coronavirus while 663 more patients tested positive in the past 24 hours till Saturday.
Additional Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr Nasima Sultana in its daily online health bulletin in the afternoon said that the death toll stood at 214 while the number of new cases rose to 13,770. The bulletin also requested everyone to follow health guidelines. Some 5,465 samples were tested across the country in the last 24 hours.