আজ শনিবার, ৩০ মে ২০২০, ১১:৪৮ অপরাহ্ন
Tanjil Ahmed : The Nobel Coronavirus is leading the current era, neither the Trump nor Putin administration. The whole world is now hostage to this virus. The numbers of victims are increasing day by day and the numbers of death are increasing drastically. So far, the death toll from the corona virus has already exceeded two lakh (2, 03,704+) worldwide (worldometers). History call to mind that, in Russian flu of 1889 killed 3.5 lakh people within a year in the world. And in 1957, 1 lakh people died in the world by the Asian flu that spread from China. But now, the corona virus which has spread also from China has become more horrific and deadly.
According to current estimates, more than 6.5 lakh people may die (per day death 1697+ people) in Corona virus in a year in the world which may exceed the number of deaths from the Russian flu in 1889.
The picture of corona virus in Bangladesh is also horrible. According to the following figure, after testing 1,026 people in the first 20 days, the total number of infected people in Bangladesh was 48 where the rate of infected per 100 people was about 5 (4.67%), death rate is 5 (0.48%) and recover rate is 11(1.07%). Later, testing 15,859 people in the next 20 days, the total number of infected people in Bangladesh stood at 1,524 where the rate of infection in per 100 was about 10 people (9.60%), death rate is 55 (0.34%) and recover rate is 38(0.23%) .
And in the last 12 days, 37,848 people were tested and the total number of infected people in Bangladesh stood at 4,890 where the rate of infection in per 100 people is about 13 (12.66%), death rate is 95 (0.25%) and recover rate is 90 (0.23%) which are dreadful. In all, after testing 54,733 suspects, the total number of infected in the last 52 days (March 8 to April 28) has crossed 6,462, the number of death are 155 and the number of recovered are 139.
If the rate of coronavirus infection continues to rise, the country will become a death valley. However, it is hoped that the government will be able to control and reduce this increased rate through the implementation of innovative initiatives, InshaAllah.
In the meantime, the Bangladesh government has shown prudence and efficiency in dealing with this pandemic corona virus. The instance of prudence led by the Honourable Prime Minister is the application of e-governance (E-Governance as well as Electronic Governance is the application of information and communication technology for delivering government services, exchange of information, communication transections, integration of various stand-alone systems between government to citizen, government to business and government to employees). As Corona is a contagious disease, the government has set a shining example in decision making and execution through the practice of e-governance.
Telemedicine (333), Video Conferencing, QR Code Card based Relief Initiatives, Student Education on Sangsad TV, Emergency Security Services (999), National E-Health Window Centre, Marketing of Agriculture Products in using online (Through Apps), Alerts in Electronic Media including Mobile Banking etc. are the shining example of practicing e-governance in Bangladesh.
In the meantime, Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced 31 points for the nation on April 2 to address the dire situation through video conferencing. Also announced a large-scale incentive package on April 5 to overcome the pandemic situation where the application of e-governance to combat the corona virus has become visible.
In addition, the government has already launched a telemedicine system to combat and control the corona virus impacts which is disseminating precautionary information including daily updates on corona virus infections, deaths or survivors.
As well as, with a view to controlling the pandemic coronavirus, government launched the numbers of telemedicine opportunities with the supervision of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. These are, Government Information and Services Hotline-333, National Call Center-16263, National Health Window-10655, IEDCR-096116 77777 and Expert Helpline No.-109 etc.
At the same time, corona.gov.bd, Corona BD App with numerous information related to corona virus have created a number of opportunities to control terrible situation which is an admirable initiative of government.
Under the government’s “Food-Friendly Program”, 50 lakh new ration cards are being given along with the previous 50 lakh. In this case, the government is thinking of QR Code based ration card to prevent corruption in food and balanced distribution which is being recognized as an innovative idea in the era of e-governance.
On the other hand, the government has started conducting online classes at primary, secondary and higher secondary levels through Sangsad TV under the program “Amar Ghor Amar School (My School in My Home)” to sustain the foundation of the education system.
There is also the application of e-governance in the provision of safety of life and property in the case of pandemic. The National Emergency Service includes Emergency Hospital and Ambulance services, Fire services and Policing services. Anyone who calls 999 is getting these services which are also commendable innovation in the governance system.
The e-agriculture window or agricultural information services (AIS) has been launched to save the agricultural sectors of the country from the scourge of corona virus. The government has already taken initiative to procure paddy through using App in this crisis. Attempts are also being made to raise awareness among the general public through electronic media to prevent the spread of the corona virus.
But there are still some challenges to e-governance in Bangladesh as like infrastructural weaknesses, lack of data system infrastructures, human resources infrastructures, institutional infrastructures, technological infrastructures and deficiency of public awareness and interest.
In this context, the government should overcome such challenges of e-governance and make it stronger and more effective. Among the hundreds of recommendations, it is possible to overcome such challenges of e-governance at local and central level by enhancing the practice of e-governance through the availability of IT tools and internet as well as strong IT infrastructures. At the same time skilled manpower, one-stop service centres, accessible internet opportunities, training and involvement of people at all levels must be considered.
However, it is strongly believed that if the capacity of all government and non-government digital centres in the country at local and central levels, including Union Digital Centres (UDCs), Upazila Information Centres (UICs) and Pawro (Municipal) Digital Centres (PDCs) , is enhanced, the benefits of e-governance will continue along with controlling and tackling the pandemic coronavirus.
(All sources of information have given acknowledged with gratitude)
The writer is Prime Minister Gold Medallist and Student of Department of Public Administration and Governance Studies at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh.