Bangladesh urged to prepare for 2nd wave of COVID-19

Staff Correspondent | Published: 09:23, Aug 23,2020 | Updated: 01:02, Aug 24,2020


Public health experts on Saturday suggested the government to prepare for the second wave of COVID-19 infections.

They expressed frustration with the performance of the government in tackling the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Speaking at a webinar on ‘COVID-19: Is Bangladesh ready for second wave’, organised by Shasthya Babostha Unnayn Forum, they urged the government to consider COVID-19 like other diseases and ensure its treatment and prepare for the health services in light with the experience of the first wave of the infections.

World Health Organisation former regional advisor Muzaherul Huq said that the country was passing through the first wave of COVID-19 infections and it was unknown how long the first wave would continue.

Pointing to different shortcomings in tackling COVID-19 in the country, he said that still 22 districts in the country lacked PCR labs.

He expressed his frustration saying that the COVID-19 response plan in Bangladesh was not transparent.

‘I did not see any strategy…there was a marked lacking in the coordination due to lack of coordination skill and decision making,’ he said.

National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine former microbiology professor Benazir Ahmed said that the first wave of infections was ‘far away from control’.

‘Before the second wave, it requires effective control of the first wave,’ he said.

Benazir observed that the second wave would bring different objections from the operators of businesses, transport and readymade garments sectors as well as from the healthcare providers who had already become demotivated due to lack of their protection.

Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research former chief scientific officer Mustuq Husain said that the initiatives taken to control COVID-19 did not follow the strategic plan.

He said that the current pattern and the trend of COVID-19 testing were not enough to understand the pandemic.

He suggested a question and answer session with media twice a week as the regular briefing on COVID-19 had been stopped.

The World Bank Group senior health specialist Ziauddin Hyder moderated the webinar.

Bangladesh tallied nearly 3 lakh COVID-19 cases with around 4,000 deaths so far. The first COVID-19 cases were reported on March 8.

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