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Dhaka Tribune

Streets get quieter as people lock themselves at home

Traffic jams have disappeared as city dwellers are preferring to stay indoors over fear of coronavirus

Update : 18 Mar 2020, 04:33 PM

The streets Dhaka, a city of 2 crore people, are wearing a deserted look after the closure of educational institutions following the detection of coronavirus cases in the country.

After the unscheduled closure of educational institutions, including schools, colleges, universities, and even coaching centres, many students have started leaving the capital, making it quieter than usual.

Scarcity of vehicles, both public and private, has lessened chaos in the streets.

“It took just 15 minutes for me to reach Malibagh from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on my bike as there is no traffic jam anywhere on the streets,” said Javed Hasnain Chowdhury, a photojournalist.

City roads are relatively empty as many people are staying indoors, as directed by the government amid the growing coronavirus outbreak.

City dwellers usually make the best of any holiday by going to shopping malls, markets, food courts, restaurants and amusement parks along with family members; but the scenario was completely different on Tuesday, even though it was a public holiday on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the National Children’s Day.

Shopping malls, such as Bashundhara City Shopping Complex, Jamuna Future Park, Mouchak Market, Gausia Market, New Market, Uttara Mascot Plaza, Twin Tower Concord Shopping Complex, and Karnaphuli Garden City Shopping Complex, were observed to be receiving shoppers at significantly reduced numbers.   

Nurul Amin Chowdhury, owner of a food shop at Shwapno Food Court in Uttara sector 3, said that number of clients started declining since the detection of the first three coronavirus patients in the country on March 8.

“As the government on Monday announced the shutdown of all educational institutions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, parents, who used to visit our food court for lunch or dinner, especially during general holidays, have not turned up today,” he said.

Number of visitors declined by 80 percent compared to other general holidays in the past, Nurul added.

Masudul Hoque, a resident of Bashundhara Residential Area, said he used to go on an outing along with his wife and three daughters to any amusement spot or restaurant for passing time and having lunch or dinner. “But we didn’t go outside today (Tuesday) as the government has already given directive for avoiding public gatherings in order to prevent the further spread of coronavirus,” he said.

Traffic Police Inspector Asad, who was on duty at Shantinagar, said the number of people on the streets was very low compared to other holidays.

Traffic jams have disappeared as city dwellers are preferring to stay indoors over fear of coronavirus, he said.  

Bangladesh on Tuesday confirmed the detection of two more coronavirus patients, taking the total number of cases to 10.

According to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), one of them, who returned from Italy, was quarantined, and another, returning from the US, was hospitalized earlier with coronavirus symptoms.

On March 8, the IEDCR announced, for the first time, detection of three Covid-19 patients in Bangladesh.

Of them, two were Italy-returnees, while the third was the wife of one of them. However, all of them have already recovered from the disease.

On March 14, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said two more coronavirus cases were detected in the country.

On Monday, the IEDCR announced detection of three more patients from the same family.

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