As the COVID-19 outbreak quickly spreads worldwide, many countries have taken necessary preventive steps, such as lockdown, work from home, and most importantly social distancing. Bangladesh faces a number of challenges in case of taking necessary preventive steps. During the first week of May, COVID-19 has emerged as a pandemic in Bangladesh. The rapid transmission of COVID-19 may be the result of lack of awareness and poor understanding about the virus. From the very beginning of this situation the government has been indecisive in order to maintain the health of the professionals. Experts say that the pandemic seems to turn deadly for Bangladesh in terms of infection rate of the professionals. However, this pandemic has arrived as a war for the professionals mainly doctors, journalists, bankers, and police.
The second wave of corona virus has hit Bangladesh, and the number of infected people is increasing rapidly. In this crisis journalists are playing a vital role as they are portraying the human sufferings through their report. Journalists are exposing themselves to a number of threats due to COVID-19 while doing their duties. The awareness about the health risk and personal protection has been ignorant in the journalism profession in Bangladesh. The most alarming situation is that, after getting infected by the virus, many journalists go to the field and transmit the virus. Along with the journalists their families are also at higher risk of being infected by this virus. Even a good number of journalists have lost their lives within such a short span of time. Humayun Kabir Khokon, city editor of Bangla Daily Somoyer Alo, is the first journalist who died of the virus on April 28. Owner of the Daily Jugantor Nurul Islam Babu also died and lost his battle to COVID-19 on July13. Over a thousand journalists have been infected, 37 dead with coronavirus symptoms in Bangladesh till November 9. As per the report of Dhaka Tribune, Our Media, Our Rights coordinator, Foyez Ahammad told that during the early stages of the pandemic, there was a little action from the government, owners of media houses, and journalists associations to protect the media workers. He also added that other stakeholders and the government should sit together in order to formulate a guideline to prepare the media industry for better protection for its staff.
During this pandemic, many developed and developing countries have been suffering greatly. Even, the healthcare systems of many countries have been revealed in this world pandemic. Most importantly this pandemic reveals the poor healthcare system of Bangladesh. Infections among the doctors are spreading rapidly as the authority has failed to provide enough protections. A large number of doctors have been affected by COVID-19 twice or even thrice. Meanwhile, the doctors have to conduct visits to the hospitals and to meet lots of patients. According to the Bangladesh Doctors Foundation (BDF) tally most of the COVID-19 infected doctors are from Dhaka hospitals. Around 324 doctors from government, private, and specialized hospitals are infected with COVID-19 till November 11. The doctors are at high risk of as many patients are hiding the symptoms of COVID-19. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced a special package for the health professionals. She has also said that if any COVID-19 frontline official is infected by the coronavirus while on duty, the government will bear the cost of his or her treatment. She has also added that the government will provide a special health insurance of taka 5-10 lakh according to the rank of the professionals.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s banking sectors have been experiencing the heat of the troubling force, the Covid-19 effect. Information from various bankers and hospitals shows that at least ten bankers have lost their life because of coronavirus. Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB) has inaugurated a data collection effort about bankers who are infected by Covid-19, died or recovered from the Covid-19 infection. However, some bankers have claimed that the actual number of deaths would be a little bit higher as they know that a few more bankers have died. An official of the public relations department of Bangladesh Bank said Sheikh Farid Uddin Soad (37), worked at Bangladesh Bank Training Academy in Mirpur, died at hospitals with the symptoms of coronavirus, and that was the first death of a central bank official from coronavirus. As the bankers have to deal with the mass people every day, they may have direct exposure to the virus. For that reason the bankers are at higher risk of getting infected by the virus.
Police officers are also suffering during this COVID-19 while working on the field. They risk their life in order to ensure the safety of the mass people. During this situation, police officers are responsible for working with government and public health officials in order to control this current situation. During this emergency situation, police members are in close contact with people. They control the mass gathering, take people to the hospitals; even they provide food and essentials to individuals’ homes. All these tasks and works of a police create a higher risk of being affected by the virus. It is difficult for the police to maintain social distance while doing their duties, as the mass people are not yet aware enough to maintain the necessary distance. So, if the professionals remain vulnerable in this critical phase, the whole country will suffer.
As a developing and densely populated country, Bangladesh has so many limitations in containing the spread of COVID-19 among the professionals. However, the country has to strictly maintain the lockdown with strict maintenance. The Government will not be able to control this situation alone. Efforts from the citizens, direct engagement of the nation’s public health experts, and international help are needed in this situation. Though many organizations are donating safety equipment, the government should be more concerned about the health of the professionals. So, all the professionals who have direct connection to the mass people have to maintain social distancing along with the other form of protection.
Writer: Homayra Binte Asad, Communication Management Officer, Eminence Associates for Social Development, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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