A one-week ban or lockdown has been imposed across the country since Monday to deal with Corona. It has been said that strict action will be taken against those who do not abide by the restrictions. With the recent rise in corona infections and deaths, there was no alternative to such measures. According to many experts, this restriction needed to be lifted earlier. It seems that the government was reluctant to take any initiative to control the situation. They run after the incident. If this decision had been taken in mid-March, it would have been easier to deal with the infection.
Life in Lockdown
Questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the government’s seven-day ban on corona infections. Many directions are vague. In many parts of the world, lockouts are declared to prevent infections, and everything is blocked. But the government is keeping some open, some closed. Lockdown may not be possible in a country with a large population like Bangladesh. According to some experts, there was no need for lockdown across the country. It was necessary to impose lockdown or movement restrictions in the areas where the infection had increased. As was done last year.
The government has said that both life and livelihood must be protected. In that case life will get priority. It would be a great achievement if the rate of infection and death could be brought under control through the restrictions that have been imposed. But for that, the government has to take realistic initiatives and look at the issue as a whole. Isolated and scattered steps will not work. In a country where about one-fourth of the population still lives below the poverty line, with 80 percent of the total working population working in the informal sector, maintaining a livelihood balance is not only difficult, but extremely difficult. It is important to consider what will happen if the source of income of the poor is blocked. It is impossible for them to enforce restrictions without any measures. Low-income people and workers have protested against the ban. Hawkers and small traders from different areas including Newmarket have taken to the streets demanding the opening of shops. Earlier, motorcyclists also protested against the ban on ride-sharing.
The Corona situation has been prevailing for more than a year. Last year was a long lockdown. Then many lost their livelihood. The poverty rate, which was 20 percent at the end of 2019, has risen to 40-41 percent. That means the poverty rate has almost doubled. This population does not have the capacity to take any new pressure. It has been decided to impose restrictions on the prevention of infection, but the issue of aid to the poor has not been taken into consideration.
The allocation made by the government for the marginalized people during the last general holiday did not reach them properly. The molasses of profit has been eaten by ants. No matter how short the lockdown is, people who suddenly lose their jobs need to be fed. Avoiding hunger is no less important than surviving corona. There is no alternative to ensuring financial assistance for the poor. Financial assistance should be ensured on an urgent basis by compiling a list of the poor with the help of local governments. A telephone number is enough to send a proper list.