Cattle markets would undoubtedly see mass gatherings of people and will only make matters far worse
It is safe to say that the worst of Covid-19 is not yet behind us, and collectively as a nation, we should be doing all we can to minimize the spread of this deadly virus.
To that end, the decision to hold cattle markets in Dhaka, along with other districts like Chittagong, Gazipur, and Narayanganj appears to be short-sighted. In that, we cannot help but agree with the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 who have called for the postponement of cattle markets in these four districts.
It is a well-known fact that all four of these districts have come nowhere close to reducing the spread of the coronavirus and as such, with the transmission yet to be brought under control, cattle markets, which, by design, would undoubtedly see mass gatherings of people, will only make matters far worse.
While the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has proposed health and safety guidelines for these cattle markets, there is little reason to believe that, even if they were carried out to the fullest, they would be sufficient to mitigate the danger that setting up these cattle markets would pose.
Indeed, with life as we know it transformed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and with people, businesses, and entire governments the world over being compelled to deviate from their usual, normal approaches to doing things and adapt, Bangladesh’s cattle markets must do the same.
It has already been mentioned that there will be increased cattle trade online, and these are the initiatives that must be encouraged and supported, not the setting up of cattle markets in congested districts already crippled with the spread of the coronavirus, which, if carried through, will be akin to a disaster just waiting to happen.