• Thursday, Oct 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 04:14 pm

ED: Bracing for a Covid-19 winter

  • Published at 09:01 pm September 21st, 2020
Covid
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

The situation may deteriorate in winter, and we should start preparing adequately right now

While we have been dealing with the woes of Covid-19 ever since it broke out in Bangladesh back in March, these past six months may not have prepared us for what is to come -- the face of Covid-19 in winter. We should not let the passage of time make us complacent; on the contrary -- while we can certainly hope for the best -- this is a time to stay prepared for the worst.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at an event in Gonobhaban, acknowledged that the situation may deteriorate in winter, and that we should start preparing adequately right now. Experts agree: In recent days, the health authorities seem to have relaxed their preparatory measures, and this could spell bad news later in the year as the temperature drops. 

Even during normal times, we have seen spikes in illnesses in Bangladesh in the winter, particularly with cases of respiratory illness. Given that Covid-19 is itself a respiratory illness, come winter it could get rather difficult to distinguish between a Covid-19 infection and a non-Covid ailment. This in turn could lead to a spiral in panic and confusion -- both of these things being the enemies of efficient crisis management.

By now the public knows about general coronavirus symptoms, but more attention must be paid to the unique and differentiating qualities of Covid-19. For example, a Covid-infected person will lose their sense of smell -- a symptom not seen in other respiratory illnesses. 

Ultimately, our best bet is to adhere to guidelines of health and safety set down by the government earlier, increase testing, and weather this storm with caution and vigilance. We have seen a scaling back of public medical facilities recently; certainly, this is not the time to pack up.

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