The weeklong lockdown in Bangladesh entered the second day on Tuesday with a growing public apathy to it as a large number of private vehicles, rickshaws and auto-rickshaws started plying the city streets and people moving freely ignoring the risks of Covid-19 transmission.
However, public transports went off the roads while shops remained shut in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.Office-goers endured sufferings to reach their destinations as they did the previous day.
Alongside private cars, rickshaws and auto-rickshaws, microbus and CNG-run auto-rickshaws and many ride-sharing services were seen operating in the capital as usual.
Shopping malls are closed as per the government instruction but shops were seen open in many areas.
Visiting many city areas, the UNB correspondent found shops in lanes and by-lanes open despite the lockdown.
Members of law enforcement agencies were seen at many points providing masks to those moving without masks ignoring the health guidelines.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has taken the initiative to distribute masks to raise awareness among people, said Iftekharul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of police (media).The points include Jatrabari intersection, Kaptan Bazar, Shapla Chattar, Uttar Badda Bazar and Khalpar areas of the city.
Protests, attacks marked first day lockdown
Bangladesh passed the first day of its weeklong lockdown on Monday with stray incidents of protest and attacks.
Hundreds of shop owners and staff demonstrated in New Market area on Monday, demanding the government allow them to operate for several hours every day during the lockdown.
Besides, a number of offices and houses were vandalised and set on fire by locals in Saltha Upazila of Faridpur district on Monday night after a man was injured in an apparently unprovoked attack by a public servant.
The Upazila Parishad, residence of Upazila Nirbahi Officer, police station, office of Assistant Commissioner (land), upazila agriculture office, and sub-registry office, among others, were vandalised and some were torched.
It is the first official lockdown in Bangladesh to tackle the deadly coronavirus.
On March 26 last year, the government had declared general holidays along with a transport shutdown instead of enforcing lockdown as the country was witnessing the surge in coronavirus transmission.
As the country has been experiencing record-breaking Covid cases for the past few days, the government on Sunday announced to impose a weeklong countrywide lockdown.
Covid surge in Bangladesh
Bangladesh recorded more than 7,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row Monday, as the country is struggling with the rising number of infections during its second wave.
Health authorities recorded 7,075 fresh Covid-19 cases in 24 hours till Monday morning. And with 52 new deaths during the period, the coronavirus fatalities rose to 9,318. The mortality rate, however, remained static at 1.45 percent.
Bangladesh has so far recorded 644,439 coronavirus cases, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).