A Serious Threat to Global Health

Mohd Siddiqur Rahman
We are very much concerned about the Covid-19 pandemic as it has come back with more strength, more energy, more tactics and camouflage. The U.K. Variant and the South African Variant have been proved to be more contagious and deadly and spreading in an unprecedented way. It is suspected these two strains prevail in Bangladesh now and affected many, it attacks people without any underlying symptoms like cough, fever, joint pain, weakness, loss of appétite and Covid pneumonia. Of course, death rate is higher, it takes less time to get to the extreme. It directly affects the lungs, no vaccine even can resist it but vaccinated persons if affected can experience it as moderate and mild. (according to doctors) Presently second wave of the coronavirus continues and most countries experience a massive surge in the spread and attack. This is obviously alarming and scary, people are getting scared of its speedy movement.
I think I should be dealing with this burning issue once again to create more awareness, more smartness among the people that might help them face the situation efficiently and with better concept over this crucial phase of life.
It is known that Covid -19 pandemic has originated in Wuhan, China and is continuing to spread relentlessly around the world. The WHO declared it a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. And committed to stopping the global spread. All countries across the globe have been struggling and striving hard with all their facilities and preparations to bring the spread into control, unfortunately, so far a few countries like Korea, Japan and New Zealand have made some breakthrough as expected.
As of today, April 13, the World has lost 2.9 million people to the Covid 19 pandemic, and infected number of people has exceeded 138 million, The U.S. has lost 5,74,000. In response of which all nations are very much present on the ground with all possible means in place to flatten the curve but breakthrough, as expected, is yet to be seen. Vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and Astra Zeneca have been administered into the arms of millions of people worldwide that have been proven to be 99 percent effective in resisting the virus and creating immune power in human bodies. Anyway, research continues, more good news regarding efficacy and lasting time is awaited.
Experienced older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes appear to be more vulnerable. In fact, it is a great threat to all ages, anybody could be exposed to it any time if he or she remains careless about obeying the health protocols or lockdown and quarantine rules. When the whole world is focused on fighting the coronavirus to control respecting all health protocols, most people in Bangladesh were seen down playing with it. As a result, Covid-19 along with its variants have entered the country very easily and infected people in multitude and caused deaths to many people, hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients, ICU beds are fully packed to the capacity and many patients have been placed on oxygen to keep them alive. The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic along with its strains has aggravated the situation and created panic across the country.
There is no doubt that Covid 19 pandemic has impacted all levels of life. Our kids are out of schools, many people are out of employment, and many business establishments are closed down. Our social fabric and lifestyle are taking a different shape. National health is a significant asset which is now at big risk; economic storm is anticipated to happen in future. The overall situation is getting worse day by day.
In view of the above context, the Bangladesh govt. is set to enforce a fresh nationwide lockdown and some other measures from 14 April in its desperate bid to stop the spread of the deadly viruses. As part of the program to contain the spread, CAAB has got the plan to have some flights on international routes suspended as and when required. Further, the concerned authority has got the plan to make the vaccines easily available to the public and would get most of them vaccinated in near future. When Government has directed all its possible efforts towards warding off the ongoing crisis, the public should be supporting the government by extending all-out cooperation like wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, washing hands and avoiding crowds. These behaviours are although very simple but can make a big difference to combat this virus. There is a real need to continue these behaviours. The rate of infection and death has started deteriorating in the U.S.A. and it is attributed to maximum respect to health protocols and vaccines to maximum arms. So we should follow the suit. When the whole world is engaged in the battleground to get the virus defeated, victory is sure to come, life will get back to the normal track, Isaa Allah. We know that good immune power plays the vital role in resisting the onslaught of diseases into our body. So we should be focused on having balanced food, regular exercise and prayer, rest and recreation and getting to the things we love. To save our own lives and that of our brethren, we are having to respect the health protocols when celebrating holidays and other festivals this year. Strong mental health is essential to encounter all unfriendly and unexpected situations, we can maintain it by believing and keeping confidence in the mercy and blessings of God on us. Those who have syndromes of depression should get in touch with doctors.
Before wrapping up the article, let me share a few words more regarding the universal catastrophic events impacting our lives. It is known from the history that world has experienced many ruins of civilization in the past. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic looks like a great threat to the present civilization. Past pandemics-like the Black Death or the Spanish Flu of 1918 have killed 50 million people worldwide but failed to halt civilization. As informed by Dylan Matthews on February 19, there are the 12 things most likely to destroy the world. They are—1. Catastrophic climate change. 2. Nuclear war. 3.Global pandemics 4. Ecological catastrophe 5. Global system collapse 6. Major asteroid impact 7. Supervolcano 8. Synthetic biology 9.Nanotechnology 10. Artificial intelligence 11. Future bad governance 12.Unknown unknowns.
Having said that believed, the wrath of every catastrophe befall mankind as retaliation from God against inhuman attitude and acts of transgression. God Said, “ We sent messengers before you (Prophet) to many communities and afflicted their people with suffering and hardship, so that they might humble themselves but rather their hearts hardened, for Satan made their doings seem fair to them. When they had forgotten our admonition, we granted them all they desired but as they were rejoicing in what they were given, we seized them suddenly and they were plunged into despair. The wrongdoers were thus annihilated. All praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds. ( Sura Al-An’am, Ayat No. 42, 43, 44 and 45) May Allah give us the wisdom to understand the reasons for our being here on earth.
(Writer Former Country Manager of Biman, Bangladesh Airlines, in Frankfurt, Germany )