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Disobeying health guidelines invites mass infection of coronavirus

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12th-May-2020       
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ON the first day of the reopening of some markets in the capital amid the Covid-19 outbreak, many shoppers and store staffers were found to have flouted the health directives. Police on May 7 issued at least 12 directives for the city dwellers who want to visit shopping malls and markets during the pandemic in an attempt to control the spread of the virus. Besides, roadside vendors were seen selling clothes on the footpaths near Gausia Market, New Market, and Baitul Mokarram areas where most of the buyers and sellers seemed oblivious to health directives. Health experts think if this trend goes on, more people will get infected with Covid-19 in the coming days, which will be difficult for the government to tackle. On Sunday, the presence of police personnel in front of different markets was thin while no other agencies of the government were present for ensuring health safety guidelines. Many buyers and sellers were seen roaming without masks many shops were running without hand sanitisers for customers.
Shoppers did not even follow the police directive that asked them not to visit markets, shops and shopping malls located beyond two kilometres from the areas they live in. Police also asked shoppers to bring their identity cards or original copies of utility bills, but staffs of different markets said it was not possible for many customers to bring the documents. Though large shopping malls Bashundhara and Jamuna and busiest Gulistan, Bangabazar and Mirpur areas will remain closed until Eid, the small shopping centres would pose a serious health risk to millions. Other instructions of police included barring someone without a mask from entering the markets, putting up banners illustrating the importance of following health safety and social distancing guidelines.
The controversial decision of reopening markets and shopping malls compromising safety measures would certainly surge the number of infected patients. Extending relief programmes to the low-paid workers and ensuring stimulus package for small investors, shop owners and other entrepreneurs would make the situation better for all.

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