Medical &Health

Social distancing norms flouted at Kamalapur railway station amid Covid surge

Social distancing went for a toss as thousands of people thronged Kamalapur Railway station on Tuesday to buy train tickets ahead of Eid-ul-Azha amid an uptrend of Covid infections in Bangladesh.

People, most of them without masks, were seen waiting in long queues in front of ticket counters at Kamalapur Railway station as only four days left before Eid.

Bangladesh Railway started selling advanced tickets from July 1 as the country is going to celebrate the second biggest religious festival of the Muslims on July 10.

Read: Ensure wearing masks, social distance, health guidelines amid Covid surge in world: NTAC

However, as the wait turned longer by hours, the gaps between the lines narrowed to invisible as holidaymakers went anxious whether they would get their desired ticket or not.

The country registered 12 Covid-linked deaths on Monday which is highest in the last four months along with 2,285 fresh infections, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The country last reported 13 Covid-linked deaths with 368 cases while the daily positivity rate was at 2.11 per cent on March 5 this year. The daily positivity now stands at 16.51 per cent following a rising trend of cases.

Social distancing norms flouted at Kamalapur railway station amid Covid surge

Though people are reluctant to go back to the social distance and strictly maintain health guidelines to be safe from Covid infection, experts fear that the fourth wave of the pandemic has begun in some clusters in the capital.

They said two Omicron sub-variants--BA.4 and BA.5--are probably fuelling the fresh spike in Covid infections like in some other countries in the world.

DGHS spokesperson Dr Robed Amin, IEDCR adviser Dr M Mushtuq Husain and former World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Advisor Muzaherul Huq made the observations while talking to UNB.

They emphasised on strictly maintaining Covid-19 protocols, including the cent per cent use of masks and ramping up of vaccination to bring the most elderly persons under the coverage of the booster dose of the Covid vaccines to slow down the infection.

Social distancing norms flouted at Kamalapur railway station amid Covid surge

According to the data provided by the DGHS, more than 12.94 core people have so far received two doses of Covid vaccines while 11.96 crore people received the first dose.

Besides, over 2.96 crore people have received booster doses in the country.

Unlike many other countries in the world, Robed said the Bangladesh government is yet to relax the health safety rules and guidelines, including wearing masks, to remain safe from the virus. But people are not following it. That’s why the virus cases are increasing again.”

Read: Stay home, maintain social distance: Home Minister

The DGHS official said Dhaka city is now witnessing the cluster transmission of the virus at different pockets, but it won’t be possible to control as people are roaming here and there without wearing masks and maintaining other health safety rules.

Suggested health guidelines

Observing the uptick of Covid infections in the country and across the globe, the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 has recently recommended ensuring 100 per cent use of masks, social distance and maintaining health guidelines to contain the spread of the virus on June 25.

Social distancing norms flouted at Kamalapur railway station amid Covid surge

The committee also recommended creating awareness about the rising of Covid-19 cases through publicity.

NTAC recommended ensuring Covid-19 negative certificates while entering Bangladesh from those countries where Covid-19 cases are on a rising trend.

It also suggested strengthening the screening of passengers at all ports.

The committee recommended the wearing of masks in shopping malls, markets, shops and during travel in different parts of the country on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.

It also asked the Islamic Foundation to ensure health protocols during Tarawih prayer and Eid Jamaat.

Source: United News of Bangladesh