Combating COVID-19: Bangladesh Perspective


Hotchpotch is my favourite food. But hotchpotch in service is not good, rather more than bad. In combating COVID -19, hotchpotch is seen everywhere in Bangladesh.

Theft of relief materials by ruling Awami League men has become a regular phenomenon in the country. Shortage of testing kits for COVID -19 is another problem.

American national Sally Dugman, who is noted writer, in an email to me expressed her deep concern about the matter.

In her email, sent about a week back, wrote – I read a few weeks ago data about different ways that different countries are equipped or not so to confront Covid-19. I was appalled that your country was at the utmost bottom of the list with only ten virus test kits for every one hundred thousand people of whom many of those thousands may need the test.

This being the case made me angry and very sad. In fact, I find this condition intolerable since it, obviously, is, she continued.

Professor Dr Anwar Hossain, vice-chancellor, Jashore University of Science and Technology, who leads a folk of researchers to test COVID -19 cases, also expressed his worry about the matter to me. `We’ll not be able to continue tests of COVID -19 if kits are not supplied in time,’ he told me on Wednesday.

The university, in its laboratory, has already been tested over 250 samples since April 17, after having government’s approval for testing of pandemic COVID- 19, the VC informed me.

Noted virologist Nazrul Islam told New Age, a popular newspaper, ‘though six weeks have passed since the first confirmed case, we are still in the dark about the prevalence and trend of the infection due to unorganised testing methods.’

‘It is still unpredictable about when the country will reach the peak of infections due to the faulty method and low number of tests,’ he told New Age.

10 more people died of COVID-19 and 390 more got infected with the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours till 8:00am on Wednesday.

With the new figures, the death toll rose to 120 and the number of infections rose to 3,772, said Directorate General of Health Services additional director general Nasima Sultana in the daily bulletin on COVID-19 situation, New Age reported.

I saw folks of people at several places outside their residences across the country although the country is enjoying a lockdown.

Jobayer Hossain, assistant teacher, Government BL College in Khulna divisional town described the folk as a fair like gathering.

Trader Selim Hossain told that he did not observe social or physical distancing at market places in Nawapara industrial town in bordering Jashore district.

KM Rafiqul Islam, executive magistrate and also assistant commissioner, in -charge of Abhaynagar land office, however, told me that the mobile court was trying hard to maintain social distancing.

The Guardian reported that the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research said that it had recorded a total of 3,772 cases so far.

With a population of 160 million, including close to 1 million Rohingya refugees, but with reportedly just 1,100 intensive care beds, Bangladesh is apparently ill-prepared for the Covid-19 outbreak, according to The Guardian.

In these circumstances, stranded foreigners are being taken to their countries by special aircrafts.

Left Democratic Alliance had handed over a memorandum to the deputy commissioner of Jashore on Wednesday describing famine like situation at the area, asking the government to come forward with appropriate supports. But the situation says the government is unable to do that. I cannot think the reality about the days to come. The world should come forward to contain it at that time. But it’ll not a wise decision, if the first world countries really want to do so, they should do it now.

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 [email protected]



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