No coronavirus panic among working-class, less infection too...

Dhaka, Wednesday   12 August 2020

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No coronavirus panic among working-class, less infection too

 Salah Uddin Chowdhury

 Published: 06:12 PM, 3 July 2020   Updated: 08:48 AM, 4 July 2020

File Photo

File Photo

There are no reports of floating, slum dwellers, or working-class people being affected by the coronavirus. Although there are no statistics on the number of infected people, it is believed that they are not affected by the epidemic due to their high immunity. Maybe that’s why there is no panic among the workers. As low-income people live in densely populated areas, the virus outbreaks are likely to increase the risk of infection and death. But no such news was found.

However, according to public health experts, the rate of infection among them cannot be determined due to non-testing. Besides, their body is more resistant to disease due to exposure to sun, wind, and soil and not being afraid of coronavirus. However, experts have suggested research into why or how low the rate of the virus infection is among low-income or working-class people.

Observing and talking to physically active people such as transport workers, slum dwellers, domestic workers, rickshaw pullers, or hawkers, it is seen that they do not follow most of the general hygiene rules like hand washing or wearing a mask in dealing with coronavirus. 

Solaiman, a resident of Kurigram, has been pulling a rickshaw in the capital for the last eight years. Lives in a slum in Dhalpur of Jatrabari in the capital. Other times he does not use a mask but uses it when taking passengers in a rickshaw. However, it has also become quite dirty. Asked why he was using a dirty mask, he replied, “What will happen if wear a mask. We are poor people. Nothing will happen to us. Only use masks when there are passengers. Otherwise, they object to getting on the rickshaw.” 

“No one in their slum was affected by coronavirus. Everyone is fine,” he added.

Mirpur Ward 8 Commissioner Kashem Mollah said his ward has Balur Mather slums, Jhilpar slums and zoo slums. He keeps track of them. “No one was affected by the coronavirus there,” he said.

The slum of Dhalpur City Palli under ward 49 of South City Corporation (DSCC) of the capital is quite old and large. Badal Sardar, the commissioner of this ward, said that apart from the city rural slums, several areas in his ward are densely populated. “Many low-income people live here, however, none of them were affected by the virus,” he said. 

While visiting the Kamalapur Titipara slum, which was recently gutted in a fire, revealed that no one was affected by the coronavirus there either. “We have to deal with dirt. Although the city corporation advised them to use masks, most of them do not follow,” said Prakash, a resident of the slum.

“We have 5-7 people in a room,” he also said, adding, “Even if we want to, it is not possible for us to maintain social distance in this densely populated slum. Even then no one here was infected.”

Dr. Lenin Chowdhury, a public health expert, said that physical activity, exposure to sun, wind and soil increases the body’s immunity to disease. Again, those who spend more time in air-conditioned places, eat food stored in the fridge, do less physical labor, have lower immunity. “These conditions apply to all viruses, not just Covid-19,” she added. 

According to health experts, due to lack of awareness and ability, low-income people do not pay much attention to fever and cold. So maybe they are not knowing when they are being infected. Again, 80 percent of Covid-19 patients have no symptoms. Many are recovering. “no definite conclusion can be reached without research on this issue,” they said.

Professor Dr Nazrul Islam, former Vice-Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and a member of the Advisory Committee on Covid-19, told Daily Bangladesh, “This requires research. Research is needed to find out if they have immunity.”

Due to their socio-economic and environmental status, they have already been infected with many types of viruses. They may have already been infected with a corona-related virus, he said, commenting that this is his own perspective.