April 14, 2021

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Coronavirus: Five causes of lockdown

The government’s ban on coronavirus infections in Bangladesh was lifted just two days later.

Several government ministers described the ban as a “lockdown.” But apparently there was not a trace of lockdown anywhere from day one.

There have been protests in many places demanding that markets and shops be kept open. Somewhere these protests have turned violent.

In such a situation, they themselves have backed away from some of the ‘restrictions’ imposed by the government.

Health Minister Zahid Malik, however, told reporters that the government did not want to be strict in enforcing the lockdown. Attempts are being made to make the people aware.

The question is, why the government could not enforce these restrictions? The general public and experts say there are several reasons why the ban could not be enforced:

1. Bus stopped, private car turned on
As per the steps taken by the government, public transport was stopped from the first day of the ban. But at the same time it has been seen that private cars are running all over the city.

This system has been described as a discriminatory measure by those involved in the transport sector.

There was also a fear among transport workers and employers that the ‘lockdown’ could be long-lasting.

The ‘lockdown’ that was given from the end of March 2020 has been going on for about two months under various restrictions.

That is why the transport workers were not ready to accept such a situation this time.

As a result, the government has been forced to allow conditional bus service in two days.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, however, argued that buses were allowed to run conditionally so that people could go to the office.

2. Factories open, markets closed
Garment factories have always been outside the scope of other government restrictions.

Even in the lockdown of 2020, when everything was closed, the garment factories were kept open. This time too, from the very beginning, the industries including garments were out of the ban.

One of the arguments of the shop workers in different parts of the country was, how can the coronavirus infection be stopped by just closing the market-shopping mall where all the industries are open?

Moreover, Eid and Pahela Boishakh shopping was severely damaged due to the lockdown last year. This time the situation has been created.

The shopkeepers became anxious and took to the streets. Professor Abdul Hamid of the Institute of Health Economics at Dhaka University said such a decision is conflicting.

“It’s not possible to keep something open and something closed,” he said. This is the complete opposite. If everything was closed, people would not set an example, they would not look for excuses. ‘

3. Offices open, transportation closed
According to the circular, all government and non-government offices will be able to bring the required manpower to and from the office under their own transport management only for carrying out emergency work.

But the reality is, most offices in the country do not have their own transportation system. On the one hand the office is open and on the other hand there is no public transport on the road. Ordinary people are in extreme distress with this.

It costs a lot of money to travel to the office every day. This also creates a kind of anger among the people.

Sharmin Ahmed, a resident of Dhaka’s Mirpur, said, “Why did you keep the office open? The office should have been closed when the transport was stopped. ‘

4. Book fairs open, small businesses closed
The thing that has surprised many in this year’s lockdown is to keep the book fair running in Dhaka. On the one hand, the book fair has been kept open, on the other hand, various shops have been asked to be closed.

Among them are various small traders who depend on daily earnings.

The traders are arguing that if the infection does not increase if the book fair continues, will the infection increase if their business is running?

Chairperson of the Public Health Foundation. Sharmeen Yasmin said such a decision has been very conflicting.

‘There is no similarity between words and deeds. There is a lot of criticism about these, ‘said Dr. Sharmin Yasmin.

5. Government offices are limited, private offices are in full swing
The government circular, however, said that government-private offices would only work with the required number of manpower to carry out emergency work.

In fact, the government has failed to implement these guidelines for private offices. As a result, a kind of resentment is created in the minds of private employees.

Abdul Hamid, a professor of health economics at Dhaka University, said he felt the government had no plans for the lockdown.

“There may have been some confusion in the government over the issue,” said Professor Hamid.

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