A nation with no cure

As in the rest of the world, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Bangladesh was sudden and forceful. The initial public response to the pandemic was timely and appropriate, with streets and roads of the capital city Dhaka, never free of traffic or pedestrian activity, quickly becoming deserted towards the end of March 2020. Since the nation’s economy is centralised and heavily Dhaka-centric, the magnitude of Covid-19 resulted in sweeping job losses and livelihoods being lost, hitting the poorest the hardest.
The virus exposed the incredibly fragile health care system. Hospital beds and wards, completely unprepared, were soon overflowing with distressed patients.
However, It wasn’t long before roads and highways became crowded all over again and the public became relaxed about the danger of being infected. The government was soon forced to make mask-wearing a mandatory affair.

Born in old Dhaka, Mahmud Hossain Opu spent his early life in the bustling alleys of the old city. He completed his diploma in photojournalism from the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. Opu has covered manmade disasters like the fire at Tazreen Fashions and the collapse of Rana Plaza, political crises stemming from the Hefazat-e-Islami movement, national elections, the terror attack on the Holey Artisan. He is also documenting the lives of the Rohingya refugees. Opu is a staff photographer for the Dhaka-based national daily, the Dhaka Tribune, covers events for Al Jazeera, and also works for several INGOs working in Bangladesh. His work has been published in reputed publications including the New York Times, the National Geographic, and the Wall Street Journal.