File photo of police blockade on a road in Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area during a Covid-19 lockdown on April 18, 2021 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
A one month-long strict lockdown with no compromises could beat this virus
The much deadlier Indian variant of the coronavirus is now within our borders, and the simple fact of the matter is, drastic measures must be taken before the problem takes on an unmanageable proportion.
A hard lockdown, therefore, is the only thing that may get the situation under control, however unpopular the decision may be in certain quarters. Businesses and livelihoods will be affected, no doubt, but we have seen the fate of neighbouring India and the last thing we want is that scale of death and destruction here.
Perhaps a lockdown was not effectively possible before, with Ramadan and Eid complicating the picture. Also, it is not realistic, understandably, to try to stop people from going home for Eid. After Eid break is over, however, economic activity will be at a lull, as will the needs for inter-district movement. The time, in fact, will be prime opportunity for a hard lockdown, which we need now more than we did in previous months.
Experts are now predicting a third wave in June, and the damage wrought to Bangladesh could be catastrophic. This is not the time to quibble about who wins and who loses in a lockdown, because the fact is, without containment, Covid fatality numbers will reach entirely new levels, and in the end, we will all lose. We must, then, focus on the big picture.
A one month-long strict lockdown with no compromises could beat this virus. The science says so. All we need right now is for our population to cooperate. If ever there was a time to hunker down as a nation to beat a common enemy, this is it.