Number of high-risk districts increasing
The alarmingly high countrywide positivity rate of 16.62 percent on Wednesday is, sadly, a reflection of how more districts (besides just the bordering ones) are experiencing higher positivity rates with each passing day. Eighteen districts currently have daily positivity rates of 30 percent or above, with Khulna division and Satkhira seeing positivity rates of 40.42 percent and 53.19 percent respectively on Wednesday. Rajshahi also recorded its highest number of daily Covid-19 deaths—17—on the same day. Only 14 districts had infection rates below 10 percent and so these are not high-risk areas… yet.
Experts fear that Dhaka city might also face similar infection rates as Khulna and/or Rajshahi in the next few days. The Delta variant of the virus, more transmissible than any other variant, is partially to blame for the current situation. It is unfortunate that strict restrictions were not imposed on border areas to contain it and nip it in the bud when it was first detected in the country, which would have prevented it from spreading to other districts.
While the government has imposed some restrictions in various districts to curb further spread of the virus, the implementation of these customary measures seems half-hearted. For instance, restrictions are to continue on public and vehicular movement nationwide for another month, but all government and private offices have also been allowed to remain open while maintaining health guidelines. We wonder how the government expects people to vigilantly practice safety measures of their own accord when officials in Dinajpur, Satkhira, Khulna and Chuadanga have been clearly struggling to make people follow government-imposed restrictions in those areas.
We understand—through the horrifying example set by India's own recent Covid-19 experience—that it is still not too late to crack down on the virus' current spike in order to bring the situation under control. We do not want to see hospitals across the country struggling to provide basic facilities like oxygen and ICU beds to an overflow of patients. There is no way that we can hope to eradicate this virus if the government's implementation of its own restrictions (and people's adherence to them) remains lax. We would urge the government to enforce reasonable and well-thought-out safety measures across the country immediately, so that the entire country can avoid becoming a high-risk zone within the next few weeks.