The number of COVID-19 tests in the country has gone down significantly due to a number of reasons, including the newly imposed fee for coronavirus tests and unavailability of tests for people who do not show symptoms.
Most of the experts have warned the government, maintaining that such practices will make the situation worse. The tendency to show a lower number of infected will only backfire in the end, they believe. The experts say people who do not have symptoms but are COVID-19 positive will infect many more if they cannot take the test and mingle with others. Soon the situation may go out of control, they fear.
The data available do validate their claims. It was previously perceived that the lesser the number of tests, the fewer will be the number of COVID-19 cases. However, despite the number of tests going down recently, the number of affected cases have been on the rise. The regular online briefing of the health directorate on Wednesday revealed that 3,533 people tested positive among 14,002 samples, which records a 25.33 per cent detection. That is around 4 per cent more than that of the same at the end of June, which was just over 21 per cent.
After the end of the general holiday, the government had a plan to take a number of measures. The most affected areas were marked as red zones and those places were supposed to be locked down. However, in the end, it was only imposed in Purba Razabazar and Wari areas.
In the meantime, we are heading towards the Eid-ul-Azha. We have not seen much efforts to control the cattle markets. People are going out in numbers and they very often do not maintain social distancing rules. Last Thursday, road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader in a video call announced that vehicular movement will continue around the Eid. Whereas only two days before his ministry had announced that there will be no vehicular movement in a nine-day period before and after Eid.
The health ministry had requested the home ministry to take steps so that people cannot leave Dhaka and three other affected cities in order to contain the spread of the virus. But the government has decided to let the public transport companies carry on their business. This means the crowd cannot be controlled and more people will be affected by the virus. We have two weeks to go before Eid. This decision to not impose a ban on free inter-city movement of the public showed be reviewed again. We hope the government puts a ban on vehicular movement during a nine-day Eid holiday.