Containing Covid-19

ঢাকা ট্রিবিউন প্রকাশিত: ০৬ এপ্রিল ২০২০, ২০:০৪

A lockdown by itself won’t beat the coronavirus The Covid-19 virus is still raging. Wuhan is returning to normal, but much of the remaining world is struggling. The epicentre is shifting -- Wuhan to Europe to New York. Which is next?It is clear that we have to spend a fair amount of our time, resources, and imagination in the next few months to tackle the disease and its fallout. The immediate challenge is two-fold: Mitigation and containment. Mitigation includes identifying cases through valid tests, isolation, and if needed, hospitalization. On the other hand, challenges in containment are different -- a combination of science, governance, and society. The science tells us that we have to religiously practice two things -- strict regimes of hand washing and social distancing. Thanks to the decades of promotion, hand washing is on the easier side. Reports show that people are indeed practicing it to a large extent. But it is not all nice on the social distancing front, unfortunately.Once the restrictions are over, there is a danger that we may return to the square one. In my opinion, the practice of social distancing is a behavioural phenomenon and has to be addressed from that perspective. The state interventions have helped raise the initial awareness but to sustain it we have to start addressing it as a behavioural challenge.
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