Many in Dhaka ignore restrictions in open defiance; police, RAB are seen monitoring the streets
Although the streets in Dhaka city had taken a deserted look on the first day of the nationwide fresh eight-day lockdown on Wednesday, the movement of people, private vehicles, and rickshaws increased on its second day on Thursday.
Shops and shopping malls remained closed as the government has enforced a stricter lockdown to stem the spread of Covid-19 cases.
Rickshaws were seen plying roads in different areas, including Dilu Road, Mohakhali, Bijoy Sarani, and Manik Mia Avenue as people are hiring the slow-moving three-wheelers to reach their destinations in absence of alternative transports.
Police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members were seen monitoring the movement of vehicles and people after setting up checkposts in different parts of the capital.
They were asking people why they got out of their homes. Those who were failing to show the “movement pass” or any valid reason for going out, were being fined.
Asaduzzaman, a traffic inspector in the Mohakhali area, said: “We don’t allow anyone to move without valid any reason. Those who are failing to show any valid reason are either sued or fined. However, we didn’t put any pressure on anyone on humanitarian grounds.”
A long queue of vehicles was seen on Kuril Biswa Road as police were checking each vehicle.
However, kitchen markets were found violating the government directives as they are not seen running their business in open spaces. Besides, some were seen ignoring health guidelines.
Amid the devastating Covid-19 situation, the government enforced a fresh eight-day lockdown on Tuesday to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The Cabinet Division issued a notification in this regard on Monday. The lockdown will remain in force from 6am Wednesday till April 21 midnight.
Under the fresh lockdown, all the government, semi-government, autonomous, private offices, and financial institutions will remain closed.
All modes of public transports, including those of road, river, railway, and air, will remain suspended during the lockdown.
However, the restriction will not be effective in the case of carrying goods, emergency services, and production. But industries and factories will remain open on condition of maintaining health protocols.
The offices, staffers, and vehicles of the organizations providing emergency services, including law enforcement, agricultural products (fertilizer, seeds, pesticides, machinery), crops, food-laden vehicles, relief distribution, health services, health workers involved in mass inoculation, power, water, gas, fire services, port activities, media (print and electronic media), private security management, telephone, and postal services will remain out of the purview of the restriction.
People’s movement will be restricted and no one will be allowed to go outside except for emergency needs (to purchase medicines, daily essentials, to take medical services and burial/ cremation of dead bodies, taking Covid-19 jabs etc).
Hotels and restaurants can operate with takeaway/online services only from 12 pm to 7pm and 12am to 6am. No one will be allowed to take food sitting in hotels or restaurants.
The government had imposed a “loose” nationwide lockdown for one week from April 5 as part of its move to contain the spike in both coronavirus infections and fatalities.
But the government allowed the resumption of public transport in city corporation areas from April 7 as well as reopening shops and shopping malls for five days from April 9 in the face of protests against the lockdown.
The lockdown remained in place until the fresh lockdown came into effect.