We have seen, across the nation, people flouting the most basic guidelines for precaution
Bangladesh has just crossed half a million cases of Covid-19. It took us 288 days to get here, longer than India, the US, Brazil, Russia, Spain, France, or Turkey. The fact that the spread was somewhat slowed, however, is hardly a matter for celebration, and we are still not out of the woods.
While a vaccine is on the horizon, a lot can happen in the meantime in terms of loss of life. Dr Nazrul Islam of the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) for Covid-19 is right to show deep concern over the state of our health care system, which is still not up to the task at hand. While money has been allocated from the government, the problems the plague the system are a long way from being solved.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had given instructions to establish intensive care units for Covid-19 at the district level; this has not yet been implemented. Nor are there central oxygen supplies at the upazila level.
Corruption and inefficiency still plague the system, and great damage could still be done by this virus before a vaccine becomes available to the masses.
Bangladesh is fighting many battles on many fronts, and it is understandable that our resources are stretched to the limit. But we must, together, get through this pandemic. It could very well be the final stretch, but we have seen in the meantime, across the nation, people flouting the most basic guidelines for precaution.
All too often, masks are not worn, social distancing is not maintained, and proper hand-washing or sanitizing is neglected -- but we must all remember that such small and inexpensive measures could end up saving lives. Let us not be impatient.