The more that instructions are given to use masks, the more violations there are of the directives. The government have been trying to warn the people about a possible increase in coronavirus transmission in the coming winter. From prime minister Sheikh Hasina to several health experts and relevant people, everyone has been drawing people's attention to the matter. The health directorate and the media are also appealing to the people in various ways. But nobody seems to pay any heed.
The government has so far issued several notifications on the use of masks, with nine instructions at various levels. It has also been said that mobile courts will conduct drives to make people wear masks if necessary. Courts have carried out drives in several places including Dhaka and are also imposing fines. Despite all this, reluctance to use masks seems to have increased. The movement of people in the streets, markets and crowded places is back to normal. The question is, why are people not aware of such an important issue. Why is the government not able to motivate the people?
The government cannot simply dispense of its responsibility by saying that people are not listening or not following the hygiene rules. It is the responsibility of the concerned departments and officials of the government to enforce the health rules. In this case, the strictness of the government and the proper implementation of the law are strongly recommended.
The government has decided to adopt a 'no mask, no service' policy. This means that those who will not wear masks will not get services in government and private offices. The government's decision was announced after a cabinet meeting on Sunday. Now the biggest challenge is to implement this decision properly. However, in the same way, requesting and forcing people to use masks in markets, public transport and public places are also necessary. If necessary, fines can be imposed. According to the Infectious Diseases (Prevention, Control and Eradication) Act 2018, there is a provision of imprisonment or fine or both if anyone does not follow the hygiene rules. So if you go out without a mask, the mobile court can fine you.
People can be made aware and motivated to follow the hygiene rules by involving civil society representatives, imams of mosques, teachers and other well-known and popular icons
So far there is no alternative solution except adhering to the hygiene rules. COVID-19 vaccine has arrived and we may have to wait a few more months. So it is the responsibility of every citizen to wear a mask, wash their hands according to the rules and protect themselves and keep others safe by maintaining social distance.
The government and public health experts say there is a strong possibility of a second wave of coronavirus infection in the country. In many countries around the world, however, the second wave has begun. On Monday, Anandabazar headlined, "Infection rate jumps in the state." In neighbouring West Bengal in India, the infection rate has increased for six consecutive days from 20 October.
If people do not follow the hygiene rules, Covid transmission in Bangladesh may become severe. Let us all be conscious.The administration cannot tackle the situation alone. The responsibility of elected representatives and political leaders is much greater. Apart from them, people can be made aware and motivated to follow the hygiene rules by involving civil society representatives, imams of mosques, teachers and other well-known and popular icons.