Amid growing concern over Covid-19, a large number of people are leaving Dhaka as the government announced a 7-day countrywide lockdown from Monday.
However, the homebound people are suffering on roads as all long-route buses from the capital remains suspended from June 23 to stem the surge in Covid infections and deaths.A glut of south-bound travellers began swarming the Shimulia terminal on Saturday. The ferries were jam-packed with thousands of passengers, with the health and safety directives mostly going ignored.
Safayet Ahmed, BIWTC manager at the terminal, said 14 ferries are currently operating on the Shimulia-Banglabazar route.
Moreover, hundreds of people -- many with families – gathered at Gabtoli with luggage and other essentials to leave Dhaka as they think the lockdown will be extended more.
The homebound people are reaching Gabtoli by rickshaws or auto-rickshaws. Then, they are crossing the Gabtoli bridge on foot. From Amin Bazar, they are boarding local buses to reach their destinations.
As the mass exodus gains momentum, many are also making their way back to the capital.
The government is imposing a nationwide lockdown with tight restrictions for 7-day from Jun 28 to curb a worrying upturn in coronavirus cases and deaths.No one will be allowed to leave home without emergency reasons during the lockdown.
All government and private offices will also remain shut, according to a government statement. Only the agencies providing emergency services will be open.