• Friday, Sep 24, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:58 am

ED: Preventing crowds during the lockdown

  • Published at 08:18 am July 26th, 2021
covid-19 crowd
MEHEDI HASAN

A better approach would be to spread out the number of hours per day

The government’s decision to enforce a strict lockdown in the wake of continuously rising Covid cases and deaths is certainly the correct one.

However, restricting shopping and office time to a few hours per day is not the most rational approach to ensuring that social distancing is maintained -- in fact, by only having a few hours per day during which people can get their shopping or work done ensures that more people will find themselves at the same place and at the same time, thereby creating more chances of Covid-19 spreading.

A better approach would be to spread out the number of hours per day, so that there exists a wider window of time during which people can go about acquiring essentials or carrying out any urgent tasks.

Currently, the government has allowed kitchen markets to remain open from 9am to 3pm. Since these hours are almost entirely in the middle of working hours -- most office work begins at 10am -- this would force working individuals to carry out their responsibilities in the single hour between 9am and 10am, essentially resulting in scores of people ending up in the same place at the same time.

If these hours were expanded to beyond 5 or 6pm, by which time many would have their work done, the government could ensure smaller crowds at kitchen markets and other places where gatherings occur, including office spaces, so that fewer people would find themselves going out for essential work at any given point during the day.

Tackling the spread of Covid-19 is undoubtedly a challenging task which requires us to cater to the needs of the people while ensuring that health and safety guidelines are being followed everywhere. As such, the smaller the number of people at any given location, the easier it will be for Bangladesh to control the spread and get back to normal. 

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