The process should be free of corruption, bureaucracy, or delays
It cannot be emphasized enough: Bangladesh simply cannot afford an oxygen crisis at this point. We are nearing the end of the current lockdown, but the fact is, Covid-19 deaths are as high as ever, and hospital resources are stretched to breaking point.
A shortage in the oxygen supply could mean many more deaths. It is unspeakably tragic when lives that could easily have been saved are lost due to a lack of medical resources.
That is why procuring enough oxygen needs to be a priority for us. It is good to see the fourth Oxygen Express arriving in Bangladesh from India, which carries 200 tons of liquid oxygen; three previous trains delivered 600 tons of liquid oxygen earlier this month.
Bangladesh is the first country the Oxygen Express has travelled to outside of India: Kudos to those who made this happen. Dealing with the medical emergency at hand, after all, should be a joint effort. The virus knows to no borders, so neither should our efforts.
There is, however, much work ahead of us. Just because the oxygen is here is no guarantee that it will go where it needs to go in the right time. In the past, we have seen oxygen supplies fall into the hands of unethical profiteers who were charging astronomical prices to desperate customers.
To that end, there should be full transparency in the distribution of these supplies. Saving lives should be priority number one, and the process should be free of corruption, bureaucracy, or delays. We know by now how deadly Covid-19 can be, but we must remember that bad planning can also be a killer.