People still reluctant to wear face masks

Public transport to carry half passengers from today

Special Correspondent

31 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

People still reluctant to wear face masks

People throng Karwan Bazar wholesale vegetable market in the capital on Tuesday without wearing face masks amid the risk of coronavirus infection though corona cases are rising in the country. – Md nasir uddin

The people of the country are still reluctant to abide by health guidelines, including wearing of facemasks, though the fatal coronavirus is spreading rapidly again, taking a toll on life.

As part of preventive measures against the pandemic, public transport is going to carry half passengers of their full capacities with a 60-percent increase in bus fares from today.

On a government order, transport leaders and the railway ministry have decided to operate vehicles with 50 percent passengers of their capacities. Bus fares have been increased by 60 percent across the country to recoup losses.

The decision has come as the countrymen are ignoring wearing of facemasks and other health guidelines.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader came up with the information at a press briefing on Tuesday.

“The order will remain in force for the next two weeks. Passengers will have to pay the additional bus fares from today,” he said.

The minister urged all to abide by the 18-point directives of the government to fight Covid-19 as the second wave of the pandemic has already started.

On May 31 last year, the government increased fares of inter-district and long-haul buses and minibuses by 60 percent for carrying half passengers of their capacities on the same grounds.

On Monday, the government issued a directive to public transport to carry 50 percent passengers of their capacities to fight the spread of coronavirus.

Bus owners made the demand in a meeting with Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).

Meanwhile, the railway ministry has also decided to operate all passenger trains with 50 percent passengers due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases.

The order will remain in force until further notice. Apart from this, railway authorities have been instructed to comply with health guidelines.

The country has recorded the highest number of infections in a single day. A total of 5,181 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the last 24 hours. Forty-five people have also died from the pandemic during the period.

Most of the bus and train passengers are still travelling without wearing facemasks across the country.

People have continued to ignore instructions of using masks and maintaining health guidelines when venturing outdoors.

People without masks are found travelling on footpaths, buses and passenger trains without masks.

While travelling by Dhaka-bound train “Jamalpur Express” on Monday night, this correspondent found that almost all the passengers are without facemasks. There was no any sign to maintain other health guidelines by train staff and passengers.

People are still gathering around tea-stalls at street corners, shopping malls everywhere in the capital and elsewhere in the country as they are hardly bothered about the virus, no matter how perilous it is.

According to global and national health experts, maintaining social distancing is one of the most important easier ways to stay safe during this unprecedented scale of the pandemic.

On December last year, amid the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak, mobile courts took a hard line on violators of health guidelines in the country.

The courts also gave punishment to many people found without masks.

The government last October introduced a ‘no mask no service’ policy in all the government and private offices.

The government has also issued an instruction to all the offices and institutions that masks must be used in all institutions, haats, markets, shopping malls, schools, and social and religious gatherings.