CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Experts worry about zone implementation, results


Fear continues to grip people now experiencing onslaught of prolonged deadly coronavirus pandemic, as snail’s pace in implementation of lockdown has intensified the COVID-19 transmission.

Public health experts are apprehending worrisome situation due to lack of coordination among concerned departments and delay in implementation of lockdown while fresh zoning and mapping is in the offing.

They warned that lack of coordination between authorities concerned may lead to second phase of covid-19 infections. The implementation of the lockdown has been delayed due to repeated changes in the decisions in the last one month.

“As a result, the infection of this deadly virus is becoming more and more dangerous due to the free movement of people. From the capital it has spread to the country’s remote areas,” they observed.

Meanwhile, various countries around the world are at risk of infections in the second phase as the restrictions on the prevention of the deadly coronavirus have been relaxed.

The British daily ‘The Guardian’ has compiled a list of 10 such countries. Bangladesh is among the top five countries of that list. After Germany, Ukraine, the United States and Switzerland, the name of Bangladesh came up.

On Tuesday, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque told media that locking down an area is an integrated task. The ministries of health, home affairs, local government, and public administration are involved here. The ministry of health may provide data and technical guidance. But implementation requires the cooperation of everyone else.

Public health experts raised their eyebrows on the government’s latest move on containing the spread of coronavirus in the capital.

Public Health expert Ahmed Hussain told the Bangladesh Post that, lockdown will not bring any good result now as most of the people flouted physical distancing earlier.

“If coordination between people and administration is not ensured it would be hard in those particular areas to contain the virus.” he added.

Several members of the technical committee, who did not want to be named, told The Bangladesh Post, We informed the authorities about the lockdown more than a month ago. Where, why, how and for how long the lockdown will be implemented – all were detailed in the suggestions. But after a month of delay by the concerned authorities, it was not implemented. It has even been asked to do zoning in this regard. Work related to this will start soon.”

However, it is not possible to deal with the lockdown in this way, they said, adding this will only be a waste of time.
Asked when lockdown activities will start in the capital, the president of the technical committee, Professor Dr. Abul Kalam Azad said that, when first announced, it was said that the zoning activities would be started experimentally considering the risky areas in five places. Of these five, two areas are under Dhaka's two city corporations.

In the context of mapping, he said, it is not a final decision. Work is being done experimentally from the department, he said, adding that the whole of Bangladesh will not be locked down at once.

“We will work in the future depending on the results of these experimental areas. We want to keep economic activities going as much as possible so that life is not severely disrupted. At the same time, we are trying to resume social life. But it is an ongoing process. The whole of Bangladesh will neither be red together, nor will be green together. Therefore, action will be taken when it is required.”