Nothing less than insanity!
March 25th, 2020 at 12:36 pm
Nothing less than insanity!

By Nadeem Qadir;

Going through increasing number of news from across Bangladesh makes one feel that it is nothing less than insanity and our only hope now lies with the armed forces — our brothers and sister who have always stood by us in times of national crisis.

Unless we are not insane why we get outrageous comments from the people who are supposed to be most responsible with every word they utter, but instead they are going viral on social websites as subjects of mockery.

One minister told a private TV station that enough personal protection equipment (PPE) is in hand but at “this stage” it was not essential that all doctors should have it. Thank God the fisheries and livestock ministry has started to distribute 12,500 sets of PPE across the country. Another prided that the Unites States has asked Bangladesh’s help with PPE, masks and sanitisers. Do we have enough time to pride on that or do we need to ensure every citizen is safe?

One can disagree with the figures being fed to us by the health ministry, but the question remains how many of our population in risk have been tested for the coronavirus. It is essential to ensure virus check with the recommended kit of all those who are at risk of getting infected with the disease.

As per the Home Ministry more than 33,000 expatriate Bangladeshis fled to Dhaka in March so far from across the world, but only 3,732 were listed! They too have not been tested.

Thus when all risk groups are tested we will know the true number of corona cases in Bangladesh.

The instance is that most of those who fled their adopted homes across the world to Bangladesh, not only carried the virus with them but simply vanished to avoid being quarantined! The world must be laughing at Bangladesh for being so insane or one may ask what the returnees learned about respecting laws in their adopted homes and how punishments are meted out to violators.

They are becoming the “curse” for Bangladesh for their own faults, but what can then our government or the armed forces do to help contain the spread of the extremely contagious disease. We can blame the government for some of its lapses or delays in decision making, but it is an impossible task to hunt thousands to quarantine them.

Covid-19 outbreak

The people of this country must stand up now not only to help the government, but also to save millions put at risk by these ignorant, irresponsible and unpatriotic returnees. They have violated my your and our basic human rights — to stay healthy!

Every citizen must report any information of a returnee hiding to the military on duty now as some allegations of malpractices have been reported against the police on the ground. Senior police officers must be on the ground and easily available to the public.

The other is why have we kept our Britain flights or some others still in operation? A leading newspaper reported on Wednesday “clever” Bangladeshi expatriates were making it to London or Manchester to fly to their ancestral home using Biman.

This author has been hammering for a shutdown for shutting down all flights. Is economy more important than life! Let us not delay any further and shut all flights.

The other insane act has been of people jamming buses, trains and ferries to leave Dhaka as if the shutdown from 26 March to 4 April was a for a festival vacation. The scenes are being shown on foreign TV channels, including Al Jazeera which has painted a grim picture in the coming days in Bangladesh. It is correct as the editors sitting in Qatar must be wondering either Bengalees were coronavirus proof or insane!

We await for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s address to the nation today and hope she would use the toughest words, toughest warnings and order toughest actions by the armed forces against those violating rules to spread the deadly bug.

Returnees from abroad in Dhaka are being taken for health check near Dhaka airport – newsnext photo

The brave armed forces are under the most able command of Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed, known for his courage and commitment to the nation.

Prime Minister has entrusted this prodigious task of course to her most trusted lieutenant. The efficacious army chief, who I am sanguine will drive the army under his effective and adept command to the triumph by helping to control the pervasive disease.

General Aziz has proven in the past his ability in various capacities in the past during multifaceted episodes of national events.

God bless our prime minister, our armed forces and our medics! God bless Bangladesh!

Nadeem Qadir is a Journalist, Columnist, Writer and TV anchor based in Dhaka. He is also a
UN Dag Hammarskjold Fellow