Saturday, December 5, 2020 | ePaper

People don't need directives on pandemic they need deeds of help to face economic hardship

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HEALTH experts on Saturday suggested taking lessons from the mistakes in last seven months and implementing scientific decisions more than bureaucratic ones to fight the second wave of the Covid-19 which is apprehended to hit the country during winter. They also recommended intensifying community engagement and risk communication, but pointed out that the first wave is yet to come under control, rather showing more of a plateau than peak in Bangladesh. The views came at a seminar on 'Coronavirus Pandemic: Possibility of Second Wave, What Needs to Do', organised by The Hunger Project where Local Government Minister Md. Tazul Islam was present as the Chief Guest.
The Hunger Project presented the keynote paper, highlighting the corona resilient village (CRV) model which was implemented in 1,201 villages of 129 unions. It was found that wherever the community was engaged, participated in publicity and awareness building among citizens and worked in patient management areas, the transmission rate was less. The isolation, quarantine was better where the local government representatives and government authorities worked together.
We still don't know the actual cases of those who have really had Covid-19. In a study done around April to July by ICDDR, B around 45 per cent of the individuals covered by the survey were found to have Covid-19 antibody. The presence of the antibody was much higher in the case of slum dwellers -- 74 per cent. But officially we have had only 398,000 cases till now -- when going by the projections from the data at least 9 million people have already had Covid-19 in Dhaka alone.
We do not need directives from our government, we are getting these from World Health Organisation and international experts. We want deeds from the government to deal with the economic consequences of the pandemic. The people need real help to survive the hardship. Businesses are going dull. Workers are becoming unemployed. The price of daily necessities are out of control.

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