The lockdown was extended by 5 days till August 10 to curb the mounting Covid cases and deaths
Law enforcers scrambled to impose Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in Dhaka on Wednesday, as the capital witnessed some rush-hour traffic in the morning.
Though public transport vehicles stayed off the capital roads, police and armed forces personnel were seen flagging down several cars and people they thought had stepped out for frivolous reasons on the 13th day of the countrywide strict lockdown aimed at reducing coronavirus spread.
Police imposed fines on commuters who failed to produce proper documents in support of their "emergency travel", while those with valid papers were allowed to go. Many without supporting documents bridled at such restrictions, resulting in heated exchange of words with policemen.
RAB and army personnel patrolling the streets of Dhaka, alongside the local police, have set up check-posts in different areas of the city.
At some places, traffic congestions were seen between 8.30am and 11.30am.
Traffic Inspector Akther Hossain (Uttara Rajlaxmi) said: “The pressure of private vehicles is higher than that of Tuesday, but we are only allowing those with valid reasons to travel."
"Cases are being filed against violators. Mobile courts are also slapping fines on lockdown violators," he said.
In fact, people’s movement has significantly risen as export-oriented industries have started operations, the inspector said.
"Ambulances and people going out for taking Covid-19 jabs are being allowed to travel," Akther said.
The nationwide lockdown, first imposed for 14-days until August 5, has now been extended for another five days till August 10 amid a surge in the Delta variant of Covid-19 infections across the country.
Also Read - Strict lockdown in Dhaka all but over
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque announced the decision of the government to the media after an inter-ministerial meeting on Tuesday.
He said shops, factories and offices would be allowed to reopen from August 11, "while public transports can ply the roads on a limited scale once the lockdown is lifted".
Amid the merciless onslaught of Covid-19 in Bangladesh, the country recorded 235 more deaths linked to the virus in the 24 hours till 8am on Tuesday.
According to a handout issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 15,776 more people came out positive for the disease during the period after the test of 55,284 samples.
The fresh numbers pushed the country’s death tally to 21,397 on Tuesday, with the caseload mounting to 1,296,093.
Meanwhile, the daily test positivity rate fell to 28.58 % from Monday's 29.91%, while the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a rate of 5% or lower.
The country has been seeing over 14,300 cases and 230 deaths every day on an average for the last seven days.