Bangladesh will go for a curfew-type lockdown from the dawn of July 23. According to experts, real implementation of lockdown for at least two weeks may help in controlling the current trend of rise in the number of COVID infections. It may be mentioned here that the government has decided to relax the lockdown from during the upcoming Eid ul Azha, which also is seen as a “risky venture” by most of the health experts. They said, relaxation of lockdown for Eid would only contribute in increasing the number of COVID infections to many folds. But the government is almost helpless as continuation of lockdown during the Eid would only generate reaction in the society.
There is pessimism about the proper implementation of a 14-days-long curfew-type lockdown in the country, as a large number of people are unwilling to remain at home due to multiple reasons. For small entrepreneurs, shutting-down their business activities would result in acute financial crisis. While they government would be asking them to refrain from going out of their homes during the upcoming lockdown, these small entrepreneurs will face challenges such as payment of staff salaries, property rents and utility charges. None of the property owners in Dhaka city as well as other parts of the country are willing to give any grace period to their tenants irrespective of whether those business establishments are allowed to operate normally or shut down during the lockdown. Experts said, property owners in various parts of the country, including Dhaka city should be given strict instructions of at least giving fifty percent discount on the actual amount of rent, at least for the next three months. This can substantially reduce the financial burden on the small entrepreneurs.
According to a highly placed source, all government, semi-government and private offices will be shut-down from July 23, for at least 14 days. No one will be allowed to come out of their homes without specific reason. There will be surveillance and patrol of the law enforcement agency members within large roads as well as lanes in all the areas in the country.
But, experts said, the government shall not be able to achieve a real result from the upcoming lockdown unless all factories and public and private transports are also shutdown and unless curfew is declared. They said, curfew-type lockdown will not work as people won’t obey. There should be curfew throughout the country.
Here again, experts said, COVID situation has been already causing optimum damage to country’s economic sector since March 2020. While lockdown may not have affected those government officials and employees, it has already put those in the private sector into extreme financial hardship, as a large number of people have either lost their jobs or are not receiving salaries for months.
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