Announcing a general holiday instead of a proper lockdown was a mistake that we made in the beginning. The decision delivered a wrong message to the people and aided in the spread of the virus.
People used this measure for recreational travel, just as in a regular holiday. We have seen that the number of confirmed cases went up as the tests increased, and we are currently among the world's top ten countries where the infection rate is high.
It is very unfortunate that from the beginning there was some lack of preparation to curb the spread of the contagious virus. We have failed to employ a proper technique, a proper lockdown.
Under a lockdown, people's movements are strictly monitored and the stay-at-home policy is sternly implemented. Firm regulation of people's movement is very important to control the spread of the infection, because humans are the main careers of this virus.
Some people followed social distancing measures and personal hygiene rules, while some did not. Those who followed the rules did it of their own accord.
It was the government's responsibility to enforce the social distancing measures, but it ended up with total failure in making the people follow the social distancing rules. It has failed to use its state mechanism to do so. This issue has elevated the risk.
The government can do two things to bring the spread of the infection under control. One is to formulate a proper work plan, and the other is to implement that plan along with proper monitoring.
A disaster is waiting for us up ahead if they fail to do so, and the situation will be quite impossible to tackle.
Prof Muzaherul Huq is a former adviser of the WHO's Southeast Asia region