Covid-19 and Bangladesh : Impacts and initiatives | Nobobarta

আজ শনিবার, ৩০ মে ২০২০, ০৩:২০ অপরাহ্ন

সংবাদ শিরোনাম:
Covid-19 and Bangladesh : Impacts and initiatives

Covid-19 and Bangladesh : Impacts and initiatives

Rudra Amin Books

Tanjil Ahmed : The present world is passing through every moment of uncertainty. Without any war, riots-Third World War (TWR) is going on. All the countries of the world are simultaneously fighting against the pandemic Corona virus (Covid-19).

On December 31, 2019 the first one was infected of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in central China, later it was discovered as Novel Corona Virus named Covid-19 and the suspected one’s had died on 11th January 2020 (BBC News). COVID-19 is a disease-causing virus called SARS-CoV-2 that has never been seen in human body before. (A2i, Mukthopaath).

Although, the outbreak of the disease originates from China, the epidemic has spread throughout the world in a short time. So far, 2,145,512 people have been infected in 210 countries of the world, where 144,061 people have died and 545,637 people have been healed till April 16 (worldometers). However, first coronavirus cases confirmed in Bangladesh on March 7, where three tested were positive and two of them returnees from Italy.

Conversely, the present situation in Bangladesh is in dire shape. The latest update (April 16) of coronavirus in Bangladesh is so far, 1572 people have been infected, more than 1130 are undergoing treatment, 49 are cured, 60 have died and more than 42529 are in home quarantine (Somoytv). The Corona virus has spread in Bangladesh mainly through migrants returning abroad. The government and administration of Bangladesh have already taken various plans and initiatives to prevent the Corona virus and are working to implement them. Yet, the corona virus has severely hit the country’s economy, education, tourism industry, trade, culture and other sectors in the past one month.

Bangladesh’s economy including trade and commerce, like the economy of all the countries of the world under the virus, is in serious danger today. With China being one of the trading partners of Bangladesh, the economy of Bangladesh poses a risk. Each year, 35% of the total imports to Bangladesh come from China. With the outbreak of the Corona virus, trade between the two countries has stopped. In the financial year 2017-18, Bangladesh-China bilateral trade amounted to US $ 12.4 billion, which is expected to rise to 18 billion by 2021.

Bangladesh is losing Tk. 4 million everyday due to the closure of Crabs and Kuchia in export products. On the other hand, Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical and clothing industry could suffer huge losses as China’s exports cease. Because 95% of the raw material for medicinal products are comes from China ( Besides, import of hundreds of items including cloth, ginger, and garlic, food items of various kinds, machinery, spare parts, mobiles, and electrical goods is also stopped to import. As a result, the prices of these products in the local market of Bangladesh have doubled.

Aside from the threat posed by Chinese citizens on vacation, the Padma Bridge Installation, Padma Rail Link, Pira 1320 MW power station, Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar Railway, Karnaphuli Tunnel and Dhaka bypass Road constructions are fallen in uncertainty. In this regard, Tariff Commission says, China’s imports of raw materials are down 15%. On the other hand, the amount of exports from Bangladesh is decreasing every day. As of April 15 (Kalerkontho), exports were less than 30%. According to the given information of BGEMA, over the past few days, nearly $ 100 billion of purchases have been cancelled or suspended. It is feared that 1.2 million garment workers will be harmed. As well, due to the decline in imports, prices of products are increasing in different local markets of the country. The common people of the country are suffering. If this continues, the economy of the country will suffer a great catastrophe.
Along with the health sector of our country is now severely at risk. There are questions about the safety of nurses or health workers. On the other hand, not enough kits for testing or ventilators for treating traumatic illnesses.

There are not even enough hospitals to treat coronas, those that are still struggling to cope with the current situation. Medical services are also facing challenges in remote areas of the country. Still, there is no arrangement for inspection of suspected corona virus in district or Upazila level. Conversely, Apart from doctors, other nurses in the health sector, including Aya, Cleanser, Ward boy, Security personnel, are all in danger and terror. Nevertheless, to encourage the front line fighters (doctors and all health workers) the Prime Minister has announced incentives for all those in the health sector of the country. She said that “if anyone was injured while serving for medical care and preventing transmission of coronavirus (Covid-1) infection, they would get Tk 5-10 lakh according to rank and death benefit”.

There are reports that doctors and health workers are infected in various parts of the country every day. Dr Gautam Roy, overseer of the Narayanganj 100-bed hospital informed (April 15), there are seventeen doctors (17) and nurses are affected in corona virus in Narayengonj). Along with, Assistant Professor of Sylhet MG Osmani Medical College Moinuddin died in Dhaka after being attacked by Corona. Even recently, seven medical workers in Gazipur and 3 in Gafargaon are infected with corona virus (April 16). If the health sector is not protected, the entire country will be fallen in Death Valley.

The corona virus has also a severe impact on the country’s education. Meanwhile, all educational institutions at all levels of the country have been declared closed. The holiday has been announced in three phases. The closure was first announced from March 16 to March 31, followed by the second phase on April 31and also to prevent the latest coronavirus infection, the holidays have been announced concurrently with the general holidays, where holidays have been extended until April 25 in all educational institutions of the country.

As a result, the higher secondary examinations that have begun are postponed indefinitely. Moreover, the PSC has suspended all examinations for government jobs. Due to the closure of the educational institutes, the government has taken alternative arrangements to ensure continuity of teaching. The sixth to tenth grade classes have been started on Parliament TV since March 29. And the elementary classes started showing from the 7th of April. But if this continues, education system of the country will collapse.
Besides, the tourism industry in Bangladesh was affected by the coronavirus loss of Tk. five thousand seven hundred corers (Senior Secretary of the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, Mohibul Haque).

Due to this pandemic, 100% of outbound, inbound and inbound tourism bookings have been cancelled. The tourism sector has been virtually inactive since mid-January in Bangladesh. As a result, not only the tour operators but also everyone involved in the industry were affected. Tourists, travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, airlines, cruising and guiding are at least 40 lakh professionals in deep uncertainty about livelihood.

However, Bangladesh was aware of Corona infection before! Various initiatives and plans were formulated. But due to lack of proper coordination and implementation, the risk of corona virus is increasing in Bangladesh. In no way can the people of the country be made aware, especially to the people of the village area. Bangladesh is currently in the fourth stage of the Corona situation. Now it is spreading at community levels and shape in pandemic. The number of victims is increasing geometrically every day.

The death toll is also increasing at a tremendous rate but is not recovering at that rate. The government has taken various initiatives to address this situation. For instance, without banks, hospitals, pharmacies, essential markets, all government, private and semi-government organizations have been declared closed. Schools, colleges, madrasas, coaching centers, universities are also closed due to the pandemic situation of Corona virus. All business establishments have been called for closure except at certain times of day in Zila, Upazila, Municipality, City Corporation and Union Parishad levels. Through preparing an absolute list of corona patient by IEECDER, lockdown initiative has been taken and implement in the selected areas and also ensure the home quarantine of the suspect cases. Already, the government has made arrangements for rice to be given to the day laborer at low cost (Per kg 10 tk). The army, police and other law enforcers have been instructed to work in the front light; providing essential medical support and equipment from China-India and Corona virus treatment hospitals are being decentralized.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced a package of Tk sixty seven thousand seven hundred fifty crores to overcome the potential economic impact of the outbreak of coronavirus which is about 2.52 percent of GDP that includes-working capital for the affected industries and service sector organizations at low interest through banking system; working capital facilities for small and cottage industries; formulation of loan facility; extending the benefit of Bangladesh Bank-initiated Export Development Fund (EDF); launches new loan facility called Pre-shipment Credit Refinance Scheme by Bangladesh Bank and earlier, declaration of emergency incentive packages for payment of salaries to workers of export oriented industries etc. But due to lack of proper implementation and coordination, the situation in Corona is getting worse.

In addition, to prevent the current pandemic situation, the first priority should be given in medical and banking sectors where all levels of doctors – health care workers and bankers will need to ensure PPE and in the meantime it could also be ensured that how to serve from the more conscious to cope with the current situation. Also need to focus on starving people for their food assurance, medical assurance and awareness etc. In this case, the role of the representatives appointed in each Union, Upazila, municipality as well as City Corporation should be increased by proper direction and supervision. Ensuring the use of e-governance will be more effective to prevent corruption at the local level.

For specimen, equal amount of relief can be delivered to the consumer’s personal mobile through the correct listing. After all, civil society, young generation and educated people of the country need to work with the government to prevent this pandemic by becoming more aware and united. Without the cooperation of all, this situation cannot be overcome by the government alone.

The writer prime minister Gold Medalist and Student of Department of Public Administration and Governance Studies at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh.

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