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Bangladesh - World wide - June 11, 2021

Border districts turn hotspots for Indian Delta variant

Infections spreading to villages rapidly

Golam Mostafa Jibon: All the bordering districts of the country have now turned into hotspots for Indian variant of coronavirus causing fear of ultra-epidemic.
Meanwhile, infection with the Indian variant has started spreading rapidly from village to village scaring to go the situation out of control for this time.
Experts said, all the calculations have now changed. The Delta variant of coronavirus, which was first identified in India, has also spread in remote villages. The speed, which the infection is spreading, can become uncontrollable at some points. The situation is almost same in around three dozens of districts around the border.
Once, many people including the health department itself thought corona was city-centric in Bangladesh. It will not spread so much in isolated villages. But now, the perception has been changed. Health Department warned saying that the situation is dire in villages like the grand-pandemic.
Terming the overall situation as dire, former World Health Organization (WHO) scientist Mozaherul Haque said, “The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is spreading rapidly across the country despite the lockdown and relevant restrictions. We are now watching devastation of corona’s Indian variant in remote villages, cities and ports. It is not possible now to handle the situation at all without proper planning. Because of the medical system in the hospitals outside Dhaka has not developed at all for tackling the situation.” He further said, “So many infections have never happened in Bangladesh earlier. But, it is truth that many people in villages, who have been suffering from fever along with various corona symptoms, are not showing interest to corona test. They are hiding their histories. It is caused of another fear for rapid spread of the infection. That is why, we should now look at the situation with reasons, not with emotion.”
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has updated travel warnings for US citizens centering the recent worsening situation of corona. The CDC’s travel recommendations have a total of five stages of risk, namely unknown stages, stage-1, stage-2, stage-3 and stage-4. Bangladesh is on the list of highest risk. It has also been asked to avoid traveling in Bangladesh at this moment. If someone still wants to travel Bangladesh, he or she was asked to make sure to take the full dose of vaccine beforehand.
The CDC further said that, those, who have even taken full dose of vaccine, are at risk in the current situation in Bangladesh. Those, who have not been vaccinated, as well as those who are at risk of becoming seriously ill with coronary heart disease, have been asked to refrain from traveling to countries at this stage unless necessary.

On the other hand, proportion of infiltration through the border has been increased nowadays despite various steps of the government. Although, the government has taken different initiatives to tackle the corona crisis, it has become difficult to control the situation due to lack of public awareness.
Meanwhile, the authorities concerned are struggling to stop the spread of the Delta variant (Indian type) of coronavirus that has spread in the border areas. The Indo-Bangladesh border has been closed since April 26 and the lockdown has been going on in various bordering districts since May 24.
In the meantime, there are allegations of innumerable people entering into the country every day from India with the help of brokers through several border routes.
Many of them are moving from the border areas to different areas including the capital city Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj in the dark of night in various ways deceiving the eyes of the law enforcers. Thus, the administration is apprehensive about illegal entry and inability to control the movement throughout the border areas despite the restrictions.
Health Department Adviser Mushtaq Hossain said, “The border needs to be monitored. In this case, those, who are crossing the border illegally, also need to be examined and quarantined from a humanitarian point of view. Otherwise, if they run away, they will have a chance to spread the infection further.”
He also advised to increase strict surveillance so that none can travel from the border area to any other area.
Health Department’s spokesman Professor Nazmul Islam said, “The administrations of some border districts were asked to implement strict restrictions with the directive of the health administration. It is being done for the good of all. The situation is likely to worsen, if the implementation of the decision to impose restrictions on coronavirus infection in the border districts is slowed down. Laxity in any place will not bring good results for us.
According to the latest statistics of the health directorate, some 40 more people died from coronavirus in the country in the past 24 hours. With the number, the death toll rose to 12,989. Some 2,576 more people were diagnosed with the virus, raising the total infection to 8,20,395 till writing the report on Thursday evening.

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