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GOVERNMENT MEASURES TO FIGHT COVID-19 : Is it enough?

New Age Youth desk | Published: 00:00, Apr 05,2020

 
 

Youth share their thoughts about the government measures to address the COVID-19 crisis with New Age Youth

Md Fazley Rabbi
University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh

FOR combating Covid-19 pandemic, quarantine could be the basis of prevention though our government has already taken the step. However, the government is not executing enough tests. The suspected people should be quarantined but the government’s initiative is not much till today.

The World Health Organization has given suggestions to conduct ‘test, test and test’. Our government has less concern about this. For this epidemic, many people do not get basic treatments. Without any treatment, numbers of people have died and it is only because of the government’s carelessness.

It is true that many steps have already been taken. But, in my opinion, it is not much. The system is messy only because of their inadequacy of plan during this lockdown.

Personal protective equipment has come into talks when several health care workers have been infected with the virus. The government is unable to provide test facility in every district.

Shakil Yeakub
Comilla University

BANGLADESH has experience six official deaths for COVID-19 so far. The government declared a ban on people’s travel via water, rail, domestic air routes and public transports. Armed forces are working on tackling social gatherings. The prime minister has extended nationwide shutdown until April 11 to maintain the home quarantine. But hospitals, kitchen market, drug shops, media outlets and emergency services remained open.

However, shortage of personal protective equipment and testing kits, some statements of cabinet members and poor services of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research's hotlines have raised controversies among the people. Till the present day, IEDCR has collected blood sample of very few who came from abroad or came in contact with returnees. But we have already experienced a death of the patient who neither came from abroad nor came in touch with any returnees.

That means anyone can be infected from anywhere now. So they should test every possible patient. But every day we see many people die with coronavirus symptoms as well as local authorities locked down the villages or families but they do not collect the samples.

The government should ensure their responsibility and accountability. Otherwise, tomorrow we may face uncountable deaths due to the negligence.

Md Tarek Aziz Bappi
University of Dhaka

THE government has created a haphazard situation to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. It could not take steps in proper times. Though the situation is getting worse, our government did not announce total lockdown around the country for a certain period rather announced a general closing which have promoted a huge movement of the people from cities to the locality enhancing the risk of community level contagion of the virus.

Again, in this undeclared lockdown situation, the government did not take any social safety project especially to save the low income people. Secondly, there is still shortage of personal protective equipment for the medical personnel in our hospitals and where patients with probable or similar symptoms are dying without getting proper treatment due to having fear of contagion among the health workers.

Moreover, the health minister is continuously lying and delivering political rhetoric on the issue. Thirdly, there is a huge shortage of facilities including testing kits and other medicines. As a result, many are dying every day with the probable symptoms. The reports of those cases are coming in a scattered ways in different media.

Fourthly, the government is hiding information regarding the total cases and total deaths which is going to be a blunder. Lastly, this outbreak is exposing the vulnerability of our health sector before us. Yet Bangladesh is not ready to tackle this as it has not proper infrastructures and proper institutions. These show us that the health sector should always be given incentives as one of the topmost priorities of the state apparatus as a public venture.

The socialist approach must be followed here in construction of a stronger health sector. I want to finish by mentioning that, the all abovementioned health sector failures of the government are ‘governance failure’ according to my consideration and it has direct link to the current authoritarian or hybrid regime in the ruling power of the country.

Ripu Sen
International Islamic University Chittagong

THOUGH the government seemed to be slow at first, they took a lot of steps to address this crisis lately. Bangladesh first confirmed three COVID-19 patients on March 8. So, we can hope that the government’s step to lockdown or home quarantine work. It could certainly decline the spread of COVID-19.

The government’s decision of cancelling international flights to and from the affected countries is also appreciable. Though in the beginning, IEDCR was the only institution equipped with testing the suspected patients, health ministry is trying hard and fast to make testing possible across the country.

Many doctors of Italy and China got infected from the patients and some of them died eventually which is posing a serious threat to our doctors. So, our government should prioritise the safety of the health workers. Moreover, personal protective equipment has to be made available in all the hospitals.

Some might blame the government for the shortage of test kits. But the reality is that some developed nations too are facing the same crisis. However it has to be admitted that the government cannot alone overcome the crisis without the help of the common people.

Md Shafiqul Islam
Jahangirnagar University

BEFORE analysing, we better divide the role of government in two way parts. One is the ‘administrative role’ and another is the ‘health care system management role’.

In administrative role, the government’s response is way better compared to the governments of China and Italy. Bangladesh government imposed lock down in overall Bangladesh. Almost all type of government agencies are on the ground to keep places vacant and spread awareness among people; even the government did not hesitate to deploy military to keep the crisis under control.

Bangladesh government opened toll free hotline. Government officials are collecting information about foreign returnees and trying their best to bring them in quarantine. The best part is that Bangladesh government closed almost every official, educational, industrial institution for 15 days to avoid public gathering.

Government’s health care management role is quite questionable. Doctors and hospital stuffs are not getting enough protection equipment, but it is reported that some government officials are using PPE in their work place. Though such resources are limited, but the distribution is unfair.

Government hospitals do not have enough facilities to fight against COVID-19 if it reaches to an epidemic stage in Bangladesh, but still for some reasons the government does not allow private hospitals to engage. Coronavirus patient identification is limited in asking question and testing body temperature only, in permitted government hospitals and organisations, rather testing through medical kits. Prices of every type of musk, hand sanitiser and related goods are rocketing including kitchen commodities, but does not seem like government is willing to control.

The government has lots to do in case of COVID-19 management; following government’s current condition in COVID-19 management, Bangladesh is not ready yet to fight against it if it reaches to the epidemic level.

Twasin Tasawar
North South University

BANGLADESH is currently under lockdown and the government has called on people to respect the restrictive measures. Educational institutions may not reopen before the summer break. The citizens are allowed to travel only for ‘urgent or emergency reasons’. The government is also preparing hospitals in case of an outbreak.

But the government should also take steps to feed the poor people as they don’t have income source right now. By the help of volunteers the government can provide food, masks and soaps to the poor families.

The government is trying their best and the citizens should also help each other by staying at home. Together we can beat this pandemic.

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