Social distancing absent everywhere

Md Esaraf Hossain

15 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Exercising social distancing and following health guidelines have fallen on deaf ears leading to rapid spread of coronavirus.

No sign of maintaining such rules by the city dwellers is seen on streets, roads, lanes, by-lanes, kitchen markets and even shopping malls.

Though in the beginning of its outbreak, members of the law enforcement agencies including police, RAB and even Bangladesh army were seen performing their duties to enforce such distancing and health guidelines and increase awareness among common people, now none is seen on the streets to enforce such health guidelines. 

Defying the coronavirus pandemic, a large number of city dwellers are coming out and thronging streets, markets and other places.

People are not giving a damn to health rules and moving at their own sweet will everywhere including streets, shopping malls, kitchen markets and even banks and other business establishments fearing more spread of coronavirus.

People are seen gathering in front of shops without maintaining required distance of 1 metre or so which is thought to be safe for preventing transmission of COVID-19.

People flock to the streets, markets and tea-stalls in front of patrolling law enforcers.

Visiting some shopping malls including Rajdhani super markets, Islampur Market, Chawkbazar, Keraniganj, Ayesha Market, Dhanmondi’s Rapa Plaza, New Super Market and Elephant road in the capital, it was found that the buyers are on a shopping spree touching each other.

A huge number of people and vehicles are also seen moving on the city streets. Even traffic jams are back in most city areas including Motijheel, Rampura, Badda and Mirpur.

Imposition of total lockdown in many of the affected areas in the capital has also been lax as people are seen roaming around those areas and many shops also remain open exposing people to further risk of infections.

Law enforcers, however, complain that unnecessary gatherings and public movements in the morning in alleyways and in the kitchen markets are the cause for concerns.   

Since the general holiday was announced on March 25, Dhaka has been putting more emphasis on the “stay home” approach to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Shafiqul Islam said people in the affected areas are not following social distancing, other health guidelines and even lockdown instructions.

As frontline fighter, police have been relentlessly working to enforce the government declared guidelines including lockdown imposed on the red zone areas, he claimed, adding that “we can only make the people understand about the health guidelines, but we cannot fine them nor give them punishment as rule breaker since we do not have any magistracy power.”