Lockdown will be meaningful if food supply on telephone to jobless ensured23 June 2021 Editorial Desk
The much deadlier Indian variant of the coronavirus has already hit our bordering districts, and the simple fact of the matter is, drastic measures must be taken before the pandemic takes on unmanageable proportions in the country. Thus, a hard lockdown is the only solution that may help the situation come under control. Businesses and livelihoods will be affected, no doubt, but we have seen the scale of death and destruction in neighbouring India.
In a bid to deal with the situation, the government has imposed a strict lockdown in seven nearby districts of capital Dhaka from Tuesday to June 30 and no long-haul buses are being allowed to leave or enter the city. Earlier, the government announced a seven-day stricter lockdown in Khulna from Tuesday morning, halting movement of vehicles in and out of the district.
Health experts have blamed the government for not taking strict measures like closing air, road and waterways and ensuring health rules on time to tackle the deadly disease. The corona infection situation in Dhaka may deteriorate like Rajshahi and Khulna divisions in the coming weeks if immediate measures are not taken to stop rising infections in bordering districts from spreading.
The lockdown was not effective before for various reasons. We now need a hard lockdown more than we did in previous months as experts are predicting a third wave soon, and the damages could be catastrophic. Only a strict lockdown with no compromise could beat this virus. All we need right now is for the people to cooperate.
Stricter lockdown should be accompanied with an organised package of food and monetary support for poor people and small businessmen who would once again become jobless and go hungry. The day-labourers, the artisans, transport workers, small-job workers will be the hardest hit as we observed during the first lockdown last year. The government should make use of the database prepared during this Corona period and must contact every needy family with phone calls and reach them food and money.