Just ten days after Covid-19 detection in Bangladesh, movement curbs were enforced in Madaripur's Shibchar upazila to check the rising infection rate.
On 23 March, Dhaka's Tolarbag also went under the movement restrictions – widely called as lockdown — as the neighbourhood in the capital showed a higher infection rate.
Both the lockdowns implemented by the Member of the Parliament, city corporations, local administration, law enforcers and IEDCR yielded success in taming the virus spread.
"With the movement restrictions in place, the two areas resorted to more Covid-19 testing, contract tracing and isolating the infected – which basically met with the desired outputs," said Dr M Mushtaq Hussain, an adviser at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
The IEDCR, specialised on controlling the spread of a disease in a large scale, engaged the communities in the two areas for lockdown enforcement, said Mushtaq, adding the IEDCR field epidemiologists followed up the first 200 cases in the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Area-wise movement curbs later in Dhaka's Rajabazar and Wari also helped bring down the virus curve.
But the ongoing countrywide movement curbs since 16 April frustrates the health authorities as the infection rates are on an uptick. With multiple extensions and relaxations on movements, the lockdown is scheduled to end Wednesday if not extended further.
Public health experts and virologists said the rising infections in bordering districts need to be reduced by imposing area-wise targeted lockdown coupled with testing, contract tracing and isolation. Otherwise the infection will again slip out of control to rage all over the country.
Prof Nazrul Islam, noted virologist and member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, said lockdown without testing, contract tracing, patient isolation and proper treatment will not improve the situation.
Prof Nazrul said the ongoing lockdown is not working any more as the authorities failed to ramp up tests and contract tracing. "Patients are not being treated properly. District hospitals do not have ICUs [intensive care units] and central oxygen lines," he commented.
"We now need to restrict movements in districts with higher infections, and adjacent regions too. It will break the infection chain," noted Dr Mushtaq.
Besides, he advocated for ensuring proper medical care for the 95% patients who prefer Covid-19 treatments at home. "They will have to be provided with proper medical advice. Otherwise use of unnecessary drugs will increase black fungus infection risks," he said, adding there should also be focus on ensuring Covid-19 vaccines for the citizens.
A lockdown was imposed in Chapainawabganj district on 25 May due to a surge in the infection.
Zahid Nazrul Chowdhury, Chapainawabganj civil surgeon, said it would take more time to confirm if the lockdown has yielded the desired success.
"The last five day data show that the positivity rate has come down from 39% to 16%. The rate has risen again to 22% as people maintain a lax approach to the virus safety guidelines," he added.
The number of beds in Chapainawabganj Sadar has been increased to 72 from 32. There were 71 patients admitted to the hospital Tuesday.
The civil surgeon of the district said they have increased tests, conducting contract tracing, and in touch with the patients through phone calls.
"But nothing is up to the mark. Family members of the victims cannot be kept at home even with the help of law enforcers. The situation is becoming difficult to deal with without the cooperation of the locals," he added.
The country recorded 3,319 cases and 50 more deaths in the past 24 hours until Tuesday morning.
Up from 3,050 daily cases reported a day ago, the latest day's infections are the highest in 53 days. The positivity rate in the past 24 hours was 14.27%.
The Directorate General of Drug Administration Tuesday approved Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.
The vaccine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 27 February and by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 12 March.