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Dhaka Tribune

What can Bangladesh learn from Japan’s 3C approach?

Japan’s Covid-19 figures are significantly low compared to many other countries in the world

Update : 20 Jun 2020, 04:42 PM

Despite being a neighbouring country to China, Japan successfully kept the number of Covid-19 cases at bay since the coronavirus started wreaking havoc throughout the world. 

The government of Japan told its citizens to avoid the three C's i.e. “closed spaces,” “crowded places,” and “close-contact settings.”

As of Thursday, Japan, a country of 126 million people with one of the biggest elderly populations in the world, kept the total number of cases to 17,628 and the number of deaths to 931, according to Worldometer which provides real time statistics about Covid-19. 

Japan’s Covid-19 figures are significantly low compared to many other countries around the world. 

Following Japan’s 3C approach is going to be challenging for Bangladesh since the population density is significantly high compared to Japan. 

Avoiding closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings is seemingly impossible unless the authority limits public movements. 

Bangladesh has implemented zone-coded lockdown since Tuesday. The areas with high numbers of Covid-19 cases have been designated as “red zones” by the authorities and will be placed under a 21-day lockdown. 

In the “red zones,” the authorities will strictly control the movement of people by setting up entry and exit points. However, the lockdown cannot last forever but the virus is likely to stay here for a long while, according to experts. 

On top of that, there is no cure and vaccine for this virus yet. Japan’s 3C approach could be a long-term strategy to tackle Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh. 

If people in Bangladesh can develop a habit of avoiding closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings as much as possible, they might be able to shield themselves from coronavirus infection. 

Also, workplaces and public places like shopping malls and restaurants need to be redesigned to keep those less crowded.

A study conducted by scholars from Japan in April found that the primary transmission of Covid-19 was 18.7 times greater in a closed environment compared to an open-air environment. 

The study titled “Closed Environments Facilitate Secondary Transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019” -- concluded: “It is plausible that closed environments contribute to secondary transmission of Covid-19 and promote super-spreading events.

If offices resume after the lockdown is lifted, the workstations have to be redesigned so that the workers do not contract the virus from the workplaces. 

Virologist Dr Nazrul Islam of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) told Dhaka Tribune since most workstations are closed places with poor ventilation, all employers should ensure that there is a minimum distance of three feet between all employees. 

He also said people should avoid crowded places like shopping malls and restaurants, even when the lockdown will be lifted. Home delivery should be a viable option for those who have access to it, he said 

Working in shifts could be another strategy to avoid close contacts at workplaces, he added.

Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Abul Kalam Azad on Thursday said Covid-19 situation will sustain for the next two or three years, or more, in Bangladesh. 

Clearly, implementing lockdown is not going to happen for that long. Individuals and different organizations could consider avoiding the three C's: closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings,as a habit. 

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