We welcome the government's latest decision to impose a week-long strict lockdown to curb the rapid transmission of the Covid-19 virus, starting from April 14. With both the daily death and infection rates caused by coronavirus at 63 and 7,462, respectively as of Friday morning, something more than just restrictions on public movements had to be initiated. We sincerely hope that the upcoming nationwide lockdown will turn out to be a timely move in the fight against the deadly virus.
According to a report published by The Daily Star on April 10, 2021, all public and private institutions except emergency services will remain closed during the lockdown. Also, public transport services will be suspended. Although these directives seem very convincing, the government has to ensure that they do no become a farce, as we are witnessing right now. Following the surge in Covid-19 cases since the second week of March, the government issued a 11-point directive and also, a seven-day restriction on public movement on April 4. While public transport and shopping malls were initially to be suspended, the former started to operate on the city streets again within just three days of the imposition of the restrictions, while the later has also reopened two days ago.
Concerned authorities have to be strict and forceful this time to make the lockdown effective. They have to give public health safety their topmost priority and be uncompromising against demands made by various quarters. Also, the aforementioned report mentions a former director (Disease Control) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) as saying, "The ongoing restrictions were unplanned and they have failed to contain the transmission of the virus. Goals were not fixed, so nothing was achieved."
The government has to implement the upcoming lockdown in a planned and systematic way this time so that it can create a lasting impact on the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Also, there has to be strong and clear public communication from the government's side regarding the goals that it wants to achieve through the imposition of the lockdown, so that people feel encouraged and motivated to abide by the official directives.