Editorial: Greater caution needed after easing of lockdown | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 29, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:49 AM, May 29, 2020

Editorial: Greater caution needed after easing of lockdown

Crucial to maintain social distancing rules and health guidelines

The government has decided not to extend the ongoing shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic beyond May 30 based on economic considerations. The economic fallout has been undoubtedly devastating with huge job losses and closing of businesses. However, the move comes at a time when the number of deaths due to the virus is on the rise, as is the number of cases being reported. Hospitals are getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of patients; so it is now more essential than ever not to give into any form of laxity. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already directed all government and non-government hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients separately. It is difficult to see how hospital capacities can be increased any further without making some kind of special arrangements.

Once the shutdown ends, public transport is also set to resume on a limited scale—on a trial basis until June 15—as well as airline services. And government and private offices will return to business as usual. However, the government has issued health guidelines for all of the above and more, which must be strictly followed in order to contain a potential explosion of new cases and number of deaths as a result of the virus once the lockdown ends.

Any breach of social distancing rules and health guidelines due to the partial easing of the lockdown may cause the outbreak to rapidly get out of control. And so, people in general as well as law enforcers must remain on the highest level of alert. No business should be allowed to operate without strictly adhering to the government's guidelines. And transport services must be extra cautious as we do have a history of seeing our public transports being regularly overcrowded. Moreover, it is crucial for people to stay home and not gather in public places, except for in cases of emergencies.

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