People defy lockdown

Many entering Dhaka from corona hotspots

Special Correspondent

24 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

People in large numbers are entering the capital from different corona hotspots of the country, defying strict restrictions and health guidelines on fight against the viral disease.

The restrictions have been imposed to keep the capital isolated from its surrounding districts -- Manikganj, Munshiganj, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Gopalganj, Rajbari and Madaripur -- for the growing numbers of Covid-19 cases.

As part of the preventive measures, the government authorities have suspended long-distance bus, train and launch services with Dhaka to prevent the high spread of coronavirus.

But, it was seen on Wednesday, the second day of the weeklong lockdown in these surrounding districts, many people returned to the capital in alternative ways by jam-packed small vehicles and trucks.

At the same time, many people from the capital were also seen leaving the capital towards these coronavirus hotspots in the same ways.

During their movement, most of them were seen ignoring health guidelines, including maintaining social distance and wearing facemasks. Bus, launch, and train services were cut off with Dhaka in a bid to protect the capital from a wave of infection from the border districts. The healthcare system in Khulna and Rajshahi was on the verge of becoming overwhelmed.

The country recorded 85 deaths from coronavirus and 5,727 infection cases in the 24 hours till 8:00am on Wednesday.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) revealed the latest figures on Covid-19 through a press release in the afternoon.

People in Khulna and Faridpur were seen breaking lockdown rules in different parts of Khulna division and greater Faridpur district.

Most of the roads in Khulna and Faridpur were barricaded, but commuters moved some of them aside so that their vehicles could pass.

About 400-500 Narayanganj-bound vehicles were diverted from the Siddhirganj, Chattogram Road, and Shimrail junction. Many people of Narayanganj were seen moving outdoors despite the “strict” lockdown measures.

Cabinet Secretary Khondokar Anwarul Islam has asked government officials and law enforcement agencies to take stern action against lockdown violators and those who ignored health rules amid the pandemic.

He has also directed an enhancement in mobile court activities, stopping the plying of intercity vehicles, and not allowing the entry and exit of any transport except essential goods-laden trucks from one district to another in lockdown areas.

With a strict lockdown imposed in seven nearby districts, long-haul buses are not being allowed to enter Dhaka city as part of emergency measures to contain the transmission of Covid-19.

Buses were being diverted and passengers dropped off before Gabtoli Bridge at the inter-district bus terminal and Amin Bazar bus stop on Wednesday.

Vehicles for emergency services were being allowed to pass through.

The Cabinet Ministry in a circular on Monday said Manikganj, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Gazipur, Madaripur, Rajbari, Faridpur and Gopalganj would go into strict lockdown from 6:00am Tuesday to midnight on June 30.

The authorities also suspended train services on several routes as strict restrictions have been enforced in some districts.

Besides this, services of Tungipara Express train on the Gopalganj-Rajshahi route, Nakshikatha Express on Khulna-Rajbari route, and Rajbari Express train on Rajbari-Bhanga-Rajbari route were also suspended.