Pandemic in Bangladesh, who cares ?

Although everybody recognises that there are risks in taking Coronavirus so lightly, many people give a damn to it, taking little or no precautionary measure while going out. 

Rising trend of Covid-19 infections is hardly affecting the normal lives of people across the country. They are coming out of home with an 'everything-goes' mentality and going wild, reports UNB.

Visiting different parts of the city, including popular gathering spots, and on public transport, it was found that people are not bothering to follow the advised health guidelines e.g strict use of masks everywhere, especially in mass gatherings like hotels, markets, public transport or other places. 

People are mostly back to their pre-pandemic schedules and organising social programmes like marriage, birthdays in community and party centers, some are even holding celebrations put off during lockdown. 

Though Bangladesh witnessed a sharp increase in the number of deaths and new cases in the last few days, the public may not be sensitised to the severity and alarming nature of the spike. 

As the country has been witnessing a sudden surge in corona virus cases for the last few days with more than 1,000 cases each day, health experts think it is likely to be an indication of a fresh wave of the deadly virus. 

They said public apathy to wear masks and maintain health safety rules, the prevalence of highly transmissible UK variant, and the complacency over the low transmission rate can be the main reasons behind the spike in the Covid-19 case 

Across the capital, it was found people -- from children to senior citizens -- were no longer following health guidelines and wearing masks like they did at one stage in 2020. 

Sabuj Mian, the owner of Hotel Chandra in Jatrabari area, said customers feel offended if they try to convey the importance of wearing a mask all the time. "So, they remain silent for our commercial interest.” 

Having reopened after closure for a long stretch through the lockdown, they do not want to risk losing patrons now. "If we follow strict regulations for customers wearing the mask, it'll hamper our business. Please, this is not our duty to make them aware" an exasperated Sabuj added. 

Travelling on a public transport, 'Rajinigandha', which runs from the city's Signboard area to Mohammadpur, it was found the bus even more crowded than normal. 

When approached, bus conductor Rahim said, "No time to talk. We need more passengers always. If we cannot ferry more passengers, we won't be able to cover the regular expenses. We couldn't make good profit during the lockdown. Now it's time to recoup and balance the losses." 

Visiting the Karwan Bazar kitchen market, the correspondent found the regular scene. Talking to the buyers and sellers of the market, UNB also found the apathy among people. 

Some traders also said they are tired of wearing mask during their work all the time. 

Jumman Mia, a whole seller of kitchen items, said "Maintaining the guidelines during the sale is very tough as we focus on sale only then. We try but not always possible to do the thing in a proper way." 

Asked about lockdown, most people opposed such restrictions as it affected the entire country earlier. 

The spike in Covid-19 cases in different parts of the world, Bangladesh registered 11 more deaths and 1,865 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours till Wednesday morning. 

The daily tally of Covid-19 fatalities showed a downtrend on Wednesday, after showing it 26 for two consecutive days -- Tuesday and Monday. 

With the latest figures, the Covid-19 fatalities climbed to 8,608 while the total infections to 562,752, according to a handout released by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). 

The daily infection rate slightly fell to 7.68 percent from Tuesday's 8.29 percent, but the daily number of infected people -- 1,865 - is the highest this year. And the mortality rate remained static at 1.53 percent for the last five days which was 1.54 percent in the past few weeks, the DGHS said. 

The virus infection rate had come down to below 5% on January 19 last. It even had come down to below 3 percent. However, the infection rate soared again on February 9 as it increased to 5.13%.