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Eid under the shadow of Pandemic

India remains hugely concerning, with several states continuing to see a worrying number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths.

Aslam Hossain, editor of Dainik Nawapara, a regional daily of Jashore, a border district along India, followed the way of his brother Belal Hossain. And Belal, younger brother of Aslam Hossain, followed the path of his uncle renowned entrepreneur Amir Hossain. Covid- 19 made them past within a year.

Belal Hossain, younger brother of Aslam Hossain, who was a football player, had become the victim of Covid- 9. The death of their uncle Amir Hossain was the first case of death from coronavirus in the locality. Eid brought no joy to the family of Aslam Hossain.

Journalist Aslam’s family is not the only family who has lost their dearest and nearest ones. There are so many families in Bangladesh who have lost their beloved ones. Covid-19 claimed 12,102 people in Bangladesh till Friday, the Eid Day, the biggest religious occasion of the Muslims. India counted a total of 2,62,317 deaths on the day. And Pakistan counted 19,336 dead.

India on Friday reported 3,43,144 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, taking its overall caseload past the 2.40 crore mark. The death toll rose to 2,62,317 by a single-day rise of 4,000 deaths in a day, according to the Union health ministry data, reports The Times of India.

India’s COVID-19 situation remains hugely concerning, with several states continuing to see a worrying number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday, warning that the pandemic’s second year will be “far more deadly” than the first for the world, referring to the Press Trust of India, The Hindu reported.

The reports adds that Mr. Ghebreyesus added that the WHO is responding to the COVID-19 surge in India and has shipped thousands of oxygen concentrators, tents for mobile field hospitals, masks and other medical supplies.

`India remains hugely concerning, with several states continuing to see a worrying number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths,’he said at the daily media briefing.

Bangladesh logged an additional 26 Covid-19 deaths and 848 infections in the past 24 hours until Friday 8:00am counting the death toll to 12,102 and infections to 7,79,535 in the country, according to New Age.

A Directorate General of Health Services handout came up with the latest Covid update.

An analysis of Dawn states that the coronavirus situation in India offers a sobering reminder of how quickly a pandemic can escalate. With half of the world’s new confirmed Covid-19 cases from India this past week, hospital beds and oxygen are in short supply. Official estimates of mortality are staggering at 4,000 deaths, every day, but the actual numbers may be much higher. But not long ago, India felt that it had dodged the bullet; a feeling that Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, gave voice to at the World Economic Forum on January 28th: `(India) has saved the world, entire humanity, from a major tragedy by effectively controlling coronavirus.’

The analysis continues- while it will take months, if not years, to identify the precise triggers that set off this surge, a few things are clear. First, the relatively muted waves over the past year created a sense of exceptionalism and false security, leading to compliance fatigue among the general population. Second, the danger of this gradual movement away from mask-wearing and social distancing was exacerbated by a government that encouraged large election rallies (for instance, in West Bengal) and religious festivals. April saw massive gatherings for the Kumbh Mela seeing millions converge in one location. Third, even as India produced vaccines for the world, its own vaccination rates remained low and ultimately plummeted as vaccine shortages riled the industry. Fourth, states like Delhi were woefully unprepared for a surge of this magnitude, and worse, leadership crumbled leaving civil society and citizens to negotiate an increasingly treacherous medical landscape.

Unfortunately, Pakistan shares many of the ingredients in this deadly cocktail.

There is a belief that the low prevalence and mortality rates in the first few waves implies we must have some natural immunity. Our recent wave has started with a similar decline in compliance. With the coming of spring came large weddings and large political rallies. With Eid around the corner, there is no shortage of religious fervour and a chance that extended vacations may mean even larger gatherings of extended family.

The data are already showing that Pakistan may be headed into a similar catastrophe.

In this situation, the world celebrated the holy Eid-u-Fitr, the largest religious festival of the Muslims. Many people of Bangladesh were seen offering prayers at several graveyards for the departed nearest and dearest ones. Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country. Muslims of rest of the world also did the job same as Bangladesh.  People of Gaza had to pass the Eid Day in tense battle. So, Eid did not bring joy for the Muslims this year.

Saifur Rahman Saif is a Bangladeshi journalist. He works at New Age, a popular daily. He can be reached at saifnewage@gmail.com

 

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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