Masks bygone but threat omnipresent | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 03, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:37 PM, October 03, 2020

Masks bygone but threat omnipresent

Many residents of port city not following health guidelines due to authorities’ indifference

Fahim Hasan, a student of Chattogram College, uses face mask whenever he goes out. But every time he is outside, he sees a large number of people on roads and public transports ignoring health guidelines amid the pandemic.

"If anyone beside me doesn't use mask, there's no benefit if I do so," Fahim told The Daily Star recently.

"It is frustrating that law enforcers do not take actions against those violating government health guidelines that everyone must wear mask outside to resist Covid-19," he said.

According to health experts, fear of second wave of coronavirus transmission is looming as people are showing nonchalance in following health guidelines.

"In many cases, Covid-19 positive people are asymptomatic," said Dr Abdur Rob, a senior consultant of medicine and head of Covid-19 isolation ward at Chattogram General Hospital. "So, it is important for everybody to use masks outside," said Dr Rob.

Contacted, SM Nazer Hossain, central vice president of Consumers Association of Bangladesh, said the administration should carry out awareness programmes and enforce law so that none can defy health directives. "Otherwise, we will have to bear the brunt of Covid-19 second wave," he said.

Echoing him, Dr Mahfuzur Rahman, convener of Public Health Rights Protection Committee, Chattogram, said using face masks should be made mandatory. "The administration should take the matter seriously," he said.

Asked, Yasmin Pervin Tibrizi, acting deputy commissioner of Chattogram, said they are conducting awareness programmes on a regular basis.

"We are campaigning in city and rural areas," she said, adding, "We also distribute masks among those who cannot afford one. We are also enforcing law through mobile courts."

Umar Faruk, an executive magistrate of Chattogram District Administration, said he conducted a mobile court at Kotwali Intersection in the city on September 28 and fined 50 people for not wearing masks.

"Most of them said they had masks but forgot to carry those. They said they would use those from then on," he said. "During the drive, people appreciated us and requested to conduct such drives every day."

Faisal Ahmed, upazila nirbahi officer of Patiya, said he would continue mobile court drives in the upazila to ensure that people wear face masks.

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