From 1 to 14 July the government has enforced ‘strict restrictions’. These restrictions have been relaxed for 8 days for the sake of Eid-ul-Azha. The government has announced in advance that strict restrictions will be imposed once again for 14 days starting from 23 July. It has been said that factories, public transport, everything will remain shut down then. There are questions as to how effective this alternating restrictions and relaxations will be in containing the spread of coronavirus.

The government has issued directives concerning qurbani and Eid prayers, but little heed is being paid to such directives. It is a matter of concern that the public transport, markets and animal ‘haats’ are overcrowded with people, with little care for health rules. This may increase community transmission.

The first wave of coronavirus was basically in the urban areas, bur the second wave has spread to both urban and rural areas. Unless we are alert, the situation may go out of control.

Eid and other festivals are being celebrated all over the world in keeping with the health guidelines. In a densely populated country like Bangladesh, it is all the more important to follow the heath rules. The people, the government and the concerned institutions must be more alert about this.

Alongside coronavirus, there has been an outbreak of dengue in Dhaka city too this Eid. We must all act responsibility from our respective positions. Punitive action should be taken against those violating the health guidelines and the law. Minor negligence by individuals or groups can lead to disaster for the people.

Amid all this gloom and doom, the news that vaccines are arriving is a ray of hope. Vaccines are the only way to prevent coronavirus. The more people than can be vaccinated, means the lesser the risk to lives. And if the risk to lives is lessened, livelihood will survive too.

Greetings to everyone on holy Eid-ul-Azha.

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