The government has decided to allow bus services in the areas of all city corporations from today during the countrywide lockdown enforced to contain the fresh wave of coronavirus.
“The decision will come into force from Wednesday,” Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told a virtual press briefing from his official residence on the Parliament premises on Tuesday.“Public transport services will remain open in all city corporation areas, including Dhaka and Chattogram, from 6:00am to 6:00pm. But, no public transport can be allowed to go out or get into the city corporation areas,” he said.
The decision about bus services in cities has been taken, considering the immense sufferings of office-goers.
The government enforced an 11-point restriction from Monday, banning plying of public transport like bus, train, launch and plane on all domestic routes.
The weeklong lockdown has come in force as preventive measures against coronavirus which has spiked in the country in recent days.
Bangladesh on Tuesday reported 66 deaths from Covid-19 and 7,213 infection cases -–both are the highest in a single day since the first case was detected on March 8 last year.
So far, the country has recorded 9,384 deaths from the pandemic disease since the first fatality was reported on March 18 last year.On the second day of the lockdown, it was found that restrictions were not enforced strictly, resulting in the further violation of public health safety rules.
Inter-district communications were cut off, but private vehicles, auto-rickshaws and rickshaws ruled the main roads.
Office-goers suffered a lot in the morning rush to their work stations as government and private offices are open on a limited scale during the lockdown.
The bridges minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on condition of maintaining health guidelines approved the operations of city bus services, considering the sufferings of office-goers and general people.
“Operations of long-route buses will remain suspended until further directive,” he said.
In another briefing, the minister said facing the coronavirus pandemic and resisting extreme communal forces are two challenges before the government.
He said this after inaugurating the 50km extended road constructed from Cox’s Bazar Link Road to Unchiprang in Teknaf at a cost of Tk 305 crore.
Quader said it is very essential to carry out the government efforts in a well-coordinated way and make the party’s unity stronger to face the two challenges.
He gave directives to the officials concerned to strictly enforce the restrictions against Covid-19 to contain the spread of the killer virus as rates of infection and deaths are in the rising trend.
The AL general secretary also urged the party leaders and workers to remain united to help the government face the two challenges.
He said BNP is showing its irresponsibility by giving the liability of every matter to the government.
Quader said BNP has lost its ability to consider which matter is the liability of the government and which one is not.
BNP is now so blind in making criticism against the government that they are blaming the government for deaths in nor’wester, he added.
He said it could happen in the coming days that BNP would be blaming the government for death in thunderbolt.
The minister said the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina responses immediately to any public issue.
Awami League leaders and workers also extend cooperation to the people in any crisis and disaster, he said.
“What did BNP do for the welfare of the country and the people during the coronavirus pandemic? If we evaluate that, the BNP’s falsehood, evil-politics and irresponsibility towards people become clear,” he said.
Quader said as a responsible political party, BNP’s mentality of fleeing and showing reluctance in public welfare makes questionable the party’s commitment to the people.