Even if we agree with this argument of the government, the question is what will be the situation with the slackened restrictions as people have been flouting the stricter ones? The government has announced it will ease restrictions at a time when deaths and infections in Covid are on the rise. The average number of daily deaths for a week has been more than 200. Hospitals are struggling to cope with the influx of patients. The healthcare system outside Dhaka is very fragile. If there are beds in the hospital, there is no ICU, if there is ICU, there is no oxygen. It is difficult to prevent the fatal virus amid such shortfalls.
No doubt, Bangladesh is facing a difficult reality. The question is what is the way out? The government says that even if the restrictions are relaxed, everyone must abide by the health rules. The government also has a guideline on hygiene. The question is who will bell the cat? Although the BGB and the army were deployed along with the police during the last strict restrictions on compliance with the health rules, not much was achieved. Due to the restrictions, there were traffic jams in Dhaka and some roads outside Dhaka.
From the beginning, the government has relied mainly on the administration to tackle pandemic and the impact it has had on public life. We think this is not the right way. Where there are leaders and activists of the ruling party up to the grassroots. Why were they not involved? The government's dependency on administration has also been criticised in the recently concluded parliament session. The Asrayan project is an example of how dire circumstances can emerge from sole authority.
The fact that the government has relaxed the restrictions for a week does not mean that the coronavirus will take a break from Bangladesh at this time. Whether the restrictions are strict or relaxed, there is no alternative to compliance with hygiene rules. And it has already been proven that the administration alone is not sufficient to carry out the work. Involving local people's representatives, political leaders, civil society and non-governmental organisations in coping with national disasters like Covid pandemic will be more effective. At the same time, we will call on people of all walks of life to stay safe, to let others be safe.