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Dhaka Tribune

Red Zones in Barisal remain abuzz

It is unclear when the lockdowns will be effective as the committee declined to announce any specific date

Update : 19 Jun 2020, 06:18 PM

As part of the government’s move to tackle the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, Barisal city has been divided into red and green zones based on the severity of Covid-19 cases.

Twenty-seven out of 30 wards have been marked as red zones but the crowded streets may give a different message.

Residents of various parts of the city are confused about the zoning system as lockdowns are yet to take place. Roads are bustling with traffic and pedestrians, most of whom are not following social distancing. 

Kitchen markets in the city are booming with sellers and buyers where hygiene rules remain ignored, reports UNB.

Abdul Halim, a grocery shop owner in Natun Bazar area of the city said he needs to open shop every day to make a living. “We know we are within the red zone area. If we had any other options or income source we wouldn’t have risked our lives,” he said.

Motalib, a van puller who was seen shopping for his family, said he has heard about the zone system but has no clear idea and he has been working like many others. 

Except for Ward 26, 27, and 30; all other wards within the city corporation area have been marked as a red zone – ward 12 and 24 remain the hardest-hit. 

After a virtual meeting, the City Corporation Coronavirus Prevention Committee on Wednesday decided to lockdown ward 12 and 24 of the city in the first phase. Others will be locked down gradually.

It is unclear when the lockdowns will be effective as the committee declined to announce any specific date. 

Barisal Deputy Commissioner SM Aziar Rahman said they are not going to lock down the 27 wards right away as it will require lots of preparations.

He said nobody has a clear idea about the problems to be faced in implementing the lockdown adding that they would initially lock down specific areas. 

Barisal Metropolitan Police (BMP) Commissioner Shahabuddin Khan told UNB that they would monitor the situation during the initial lockdowns. “That'll help us find out the problems we face to implement lockdown,” he said. 

He noted that based on this review, the remaining areas will be locked down.

Directives about the lockdown date are yet to come from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said one of the officials. 

Until Friday, the local health authorities have confirmed 1,090 coronavirus cases. 

So far, 14 people have died in the district and 184 have recovered. 

Across the country, the total number of infections has reached 105,535 with 1,388 patients dead so far. 

On Wednesday, DGHS Director General Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad said the coronavirus crisis may take three or more years to completely go away. 

"According to the experience of different countries and public health experts, the prevalence of coronavirus will not end in one, two, or even three months. It will last for two to three years or more," he said.

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