By Abdullah Al Fahad, Rotaract Club of Dhaka Orchid, Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, the infection rate from COVID-19 had been increasing daily earlier this year. The death rate was also frighteningly high. It’s a threat to our country’s health and economy. Our population density is simply too high. The best way to decrease the spread of COVID-19 is by using facemasks. Therefore, we felt we needed to work hard as a Rotaract club to remind people of the importance of wearing face masks.
Together with our four sister clubs, we distributed 25,000 facemasks to people in the public areas of Dhaka in April, where people go to work to earn their livelihood. They are vital to our economy and it’s important for us to protect them.
For weeks, we listened as medical experts warned that not enough tests were being conducted. News reports and social media forecasted additional deaths. While some received treatment at COVID-19 isolations centers, others were turned away without even testing for the virus. For a long time, testing was centralized and conducted exclusively by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research in the capital Dhaka, despite the fact that patients with symptoms were reported all over the country. Finally, on 22 March, Bangladesh declared a 10-day shut down effective from 26 March to 4 April, and later extended to 30 May.
Our Rotaract club with our sister clubs have been doing whatever we can to try and protect people from the virus and stop the spread. We encourage other Rotaract clubs to help their communities, by spreading information, encouraging mask usage where it is necessary, and working for the distribution of vaccines.
We can stop this virus just as we have been working to eradicate polio from the world. We are the people with the experience, determination, and dedication to do this. Thank you, Rotary world.