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  • Last Update : 12:03 pm

ED: Towards a more robust policy framework

  • Published at 08:33 am August 1st, 2021
covid-19 crowd
Dhaka tribune

There have been confusing and half-hearted attempts to contain the virus

Much of our handling of Covid-19 has been, unfortunately, rather ad hoc. This is not surprising given the unprecedented nature of the crisis. It is true not just of Bangladesh, but for all nations around the world, that we have never faced a global pandemic until Covid-19 was declared as one by the World Health Organization in March of last year. Since then, there has been a lot of trial and error, there have been experiments and speculation, and there have been confusing and half-hearted attempts to contain the virus through lockdowns of varying levels of strictness.

The Centre for Policy Dialogue is correct in its assessment that so far, Bangladesh has lacked the proper policy framework infrastructure for tackling this pandemic. Their study identified a few gap areas that need to be worked on an improved. For example: The health care system is not adequately resourced -- this is perhaps the single most crucial area that needs our attention now. Furthermore, our pandemic response has been too centralized, uncoordinated, non-transparent, and there have also been allegations of corruption.

A year and five months into the pandemic, a large segment of the population is as confused about the realities and danger of Covid-19 as they were when the first case was identified in Bangladesh. The government needs to be clearer, and more focused in its approach now. There are reasons why this task has been overwhelming so far, but we have been living in the shadow of Covid-19 for a long time now: This is our new normal. It is, then, high time we had a more robust policy framework.

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