We are back in the pre-pandemic times, it seems.
The roads have their customary gridlock, the air in offices is filled with chatters, the shops' cash registers are ringing and the public transports would soon be packed to the rafters again.
This striking return to normalcy when the country is no closer to taming the coronavirus begs the question: Is the government taking the right move?
Would this send the Covid-19 caseload spiralling out of control and necessitate another round of strict measures?
The government-formed advisory group tend to think so.
"We said infections could increase soon," said Liakot Ali, a member of the committee.
A total of 1,950 new infections were recorded on Tuesday, taking the total number of people infected to 314,946, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
"You can call it a second wave or whatever. But I wouldn't call it that. In my opinion, the classical idea of the first and second wave will not work in our country."
The second wave of Covid-19 is essentially an upward trend in the epidemic curve of a country after the primary attack of coronavirus has subsided.
A second wave can be the result of multiple factors, like resuming social activities, change in season or easing of travel restrictions.
"But we could not contain the spread of coronavirus. None of our steps was successful. We didn't have the typical waves like in China, South Korea or Europe. Our positivity rate has not decreased," Ali said.
In South Korea, active cases and fatality numbers dwindled towards the end of April. But from May onwards, the cases started rising again.
Large swathes of Europe – particularly France, Poland, the Netherlands and Spain – are seeing a resurgence in cases after bringing the public health crisis under control in May.
Given that the winter months are around the corner, Ali says there would be a spike in Covid-19, the pneumonia-like disease caused by the coronavirus.
Subsequently, he called for ramping up testing, making mask wear compulsory, ensuring institutional quarantine.
"The wave of infection will get higher in future. The main problem in winter is ventilation. The windows are kept closed, so transmissions will increase."
Plus, in winter, there is a decrease in humidity, which links to droplets and aerosols, he added.
Subsequently, the advisory group recommended a series of measures to prevent such a scenario in a report to the DGHS on August 31.
More emphasis has to be given to ensure effective contact tracing and quarantine. Contact tracing has to be taken to the district and upazila levels.
Without effective contract tracing it will be difficult to reduce the transmission across the country, the report said.
"Otherwise, we would not see any decrease in Covid-19 deaths and morbidities."
To reduce the fatality rate, efficient hospital management, regular updating management, pre-hospital medical services and follow-up mechanism after discharging from the hospital are needed.
Attention must be also be given to introducing antigen-based tests to increase the diagnostic capability in the country.
The advisory group suggests a high-level task group comprising of technical and policy level persons to help the health ministry and the overall leadership to take need-based timely decisions related to the availability of Covid-19 vaccine in the country.
A national preparedness plan with a timeline for the development of future Covid-19 vaccines needs to be developed including prioritisation of population groups. Mechanisms for delivery of the vaccine. Vaccine safety monitoring mechanisms.
Meanwhile, the health ministry task force comprising of representatives from five ministries has recommended waiving the fee for Covid-19 sample testing in government hospitals to curb the spread of the virus.
Earlier in June, fearing a crisis in kit stock as the virus was spreading at an alarming rate in that time, the government imposed a fee on Covid-19 sample testing in public hospitals.
But the decision left the government with a large number of unused testing kits. Currently, the government has more than four lakh unused kits.
The fee has prompted many low-income people to avoid getting tasks.
Now, to reverse the situation, the nine-member task force has called for withdrawing the fee in public hospitals. The fee would continue in case of sample collection from patients' homes.
They prescribed free testing to identify Covid-19 positive patients and isolate them from spreading the virus further.
The task force made the recommendation based on the recent survey conducted by ICDDR,B. The survey found that about 30 percent of the people with Covid-19 symptoms and 8 percent without symptoms are carrying the virus.
If the virus carrier could not be identified by testing and kept in isolation, they will spread Covid-19 at a geometric rate.
The task force has also proposed that no hospital could be run without any licence.
Before obtaining the licence no hospital, clinic, diagnostic centre or blood bank should get any trade licence from any government or local government organisation.
They also proposed to make the licence renewal process easier.
According to the current rules, the health ministry renews the licence of the hospitals and clinics after issuing it for the first time for one year.
The taskforce prescribed to increase the renewal for two-three years.
On August 8, the task force proposed to cancel the provisions to obtain certificates from different government organisations including the department of environment, department fire service and civil defence for obtaining hospital licence.
Rather, they proposed to include members from these departments in the inspection committees.
They also proposed to increase the number of the workforce at the hospital department of the ministry of health for monitoring hospitals across the country. Every hospital should be inspected once every three months.