As lockdowns eased in Bangladesh, people became a lackadaisical towards wearing a mask in public places.
Vegetable vendors, bus drivers, shopkeepers, rickshaw-pullers and even commuters seem to have taken a relaxed approach in protecting themselves, while the virus is wreaking havoc in the country with over a 100,000 people infected since March.
Easing the lockdown has contributed to a sharp rise of infections.
Meanwhile, a new study by Britain's Cambridge and Greenwich Universities suggested that if more people wear a face mask, it can help to push Covid-19 transmission down to controllable levels and could prevent further waves of the pandemic disease when combined with lockdowns. It also said that lockdowns alone will not stop the resurgence of the virus.
According to the study, even a homemade mask is enough to reduce the transmission given that more and more people are wearing a mask while in public places. It essentially means that not wearing a mask for whatsoever reasons, can significantly contribute in more infections and more deaths.
Bangladesh reported its first three cases of the novel coronavirus in early March, and the first death was reported ten days later on March 18. Five days later, on March 23 authorities announced general holidays forcing people to lock themselves in the safety of their homes.
The government made it clear that every person must wear a mask while they are a public place and also maintain a physical distance of at least three feet from other people.
In the early days, the government ensured that the guidelines are followed. However, as the government eased the lockdown from May 31, the scenario has changed.
Many people put on their mask whenever they hear a police jeep approaching. Otherwise, they keep their mask down, sticking it to their chins.
Group of friends are often standing on the sidewalks drinking tea from a roadside stall, defying all guidelines on social distancing and health precautions. Besides, some people are often seen wearing the mask keeping their noses exposed, while others take off their mask to talk, yawn or sneeze.