With five reported deaths case of COVID-19, the question of tackling countrymen from the probable havoc. It’s a crucial question for Bangladesh as the country has, after all, no logistics to combat it.

Bangladesh, which was liberated from Pakistan in 1970, is now claiming to touch the layer of the richest countries by 2041, although I see queues of shoppers in front of the government’s subsidized outlets of rice and flour now and then as because they cannot afford the main food items from the markets. Moreover, a large number of people eat beef or mutton only during the Muslims’ largest religious festival Quarbani, festival of sacrifice. Over 90 per cent people of the country are Muslims.

Bangladesh, which has an area of 147,570 kilometer with 164.7 million populations, is now at the risk of coronavirus contamination among the community, although very few people were reported to be infected so far. But initiatives taken by the government are seemingly poor. Educational institutions of the country were declared shut lately. Government owned hospitals have not facilities of testing novel coronavirus. Testing kits are not available, too. Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) is the only organization to test corona infection. But expatriate Bangladeshis, who are coming the country from abroad are taking chances to going through the population unchecked, are making risks for the total population. The government’s initiative to restrict their movements is poor.

One of my friends, who is a Bangladeshi born American, delivered his dissatisfaction over the issue in Bangladesh. He told me that he was anxious about his nearest and dearest ones in Bangladesh as the government’s initiatives are very poor comparing to America. ‘People of Bangladesh are not conscious,’ he added, `They must be aware of the probable outbreak of coronavirus.’

As a journalist, I have to travel here and there. I also found most of the people not aware of having preventive measures. They don’t even wear masks. I heard some people hurling insulting words towards those who wear masks.

The World Health Organization described the new coronavirus as a pandemic for the first time on March 11, adding that Italy and Iran were now on the frontline of the disease and other countries would soon join them.

“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference on the day.

He urged the global community to redouble efforts to contain the outbreak, saying aggressive measures could still play a big role to curb it.

“This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus. We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic. This is the first pandemic that can be controlled,” he later tweeted.

I would like to conclude this piece saying that is the government head the caution of WHO? #

Saifur Rahman Saif is a Bangladeshi journalist. He works at New Age, a popular newspaper.

He contributed a story in Freelance Success Stories published simultaneously from the USA and Canada. He can be reached at saifnewage@gmail.com



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