Travel ban turned ineffective

21 May, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh authorities have restrictedthe movement of peoplefrom one district to another or one upazila to anotherfrom May 17 to 28in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus that has so far infected more than 26 thousand people and killed at least 386 others in the country. A circular issued on May 14 stated that no one would be allowed to leave the city where they work. Local administrations and law enforcers have been asked to enforce the restrictions during the period.

But in reality, people did not pay heed to the official restrictions.As per press reports, thousands of people,including women, elderly people and children, left Dhaka on Tuesday to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr at their abodes in villages, violating the travel restrictions.In absence of public transport, the home-bound people travelled by pickups, motorbikes and battery-run three wheelers ignoring the official directive. When they came near check-posts set up by police at the exit points of Dhaka city, they crossed them on foot.

Ferry services have remained suspended on various routes. As to why, a large number of people remained stuck at the ferry terminals. However, many of them crossed the mighty Padma by trawlers, risking their lives at a time when super cyclone Amphan was approaching fast. On the Dhaka-Tangail highway, North Bengal-bound people suffered a lot as vehicles remained stuck in tailbacks.There always remains a threat of coronavirus on venturing out.

The law enforcerstried their best to enforce the curbs. They have installed check posts and barricades on highways. They stopped people from crossing the river in small trawlers. Theytried to send people back once they find them.But, they have been reportedly overwhelmed by the abnormal situation.In such a situation, there is no alternative, but to cut off Dhaka city from the rest of the country in an attempt to protect people from the deadly bug.It is the onlymeans to control the effect of the virus that prompts strict enforcement of the travel ban.