When Bangladesh was first hit by Covid-19 in March/April last year, we all thought that we would be seeing the end of it soon, at most by the year's end. One year down the line, we are rather worse off, not only for the lack of efficient management of the disease but also because of more deadly and virulent variants of the virus which are causing the second wave. This time around, we may be better prepared with more science-based knowledge but so is the virus—armed with various mutations—to penetrate our immune system. It is almost like a war of wits being waged between human ingenuity and the devilish disease, and the battle scene, for the time being, does not look good.
The lessons from India are many, with the principal one being not to get caught up in one's own words of self-congratulation—India does not have a monopoly on that score—and thus be lulled into a false sense of security which can lead to, as they say in sports, "taking the eye off the ball". Ankita Mukhopadhyay, in an article for Deutsche Welle (DW) on April 23, wrote that "despite having time to prepare, the Indian government focused on denial". While India held political rallies, election campaigns, and religious festivals, its daily infection rate went up from around 10,000 per day in February to above 300,000 per day in April. Such unpreparedness is most unbecoming for a country wanting to be a bigger player than a regional power.