At a time when the government has extended the ongoing countrywide strict lockdown for another week, people in large numbers breaking the restriction and health guideline are coming out of their houses and thronging the streets in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
The capital witnessed the movement of a large number of people and motor vehicles, mostly private cars, microbuses, motorbikes and pickup vans, on different streets on Monday, the fifth day of the weeklong strict lockdown. Besides, slow-moving rickshaws are still dominating the city streets.Many people are also thronging different lanes, by-lanes and even kitchen markets without maintaining social distancing and wearing facemasks.
Traffic congestion was seen at various points in the capital while movement of more people was spotted in some parts of the city since Monday morning.
After a break of four-day since the lockdown began on Thursday, banks, financial institutions and stock markets reopened on Monday. However, lenders are operating on a limited scale in line with the central bank’s order.
Besides, more emergency vehicles, alongside cars, motorcycles and rickshaws, are plying the roads as all emergency service offices are open now.
Police and RAB personnel were seen taking position at different parts of the capital on Monday morning.
They were seen monitoring the movement of vehicles and people after setting up check-posts at different parts of the capital. They were asking people why they got out of home. Those who were failing to show their valid reason of going out were being arrested or fined.Police said people in large numbers are coming out of their residences with lame excuse and rushing towards streets, footpaths and kitchen markets.
Private cars, rickshaws, microbus, and many motorcycles sharing rides on contract were seen plying the streets on Monday.
Excepting passenger buses, all modes of small vehicles plied different city streets as usual on Monday.
Health rules were hardly maintained at the kitchen markets while cars, rickshaws and auto-rickshaws moved around freely.
In some places, policemen were not taking any measures against the lockdown violators.
On Monday, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) arrested 509 people from different areas in the capital for violating lockdown rules and restrictions.
The mobile courts of DMP also fined 287 people Tk 1,57,600 for breaking the lockdown rules.
Meanwhile, the traffic divisions of DMP fined 526 vehicles over Tk 12.23 lakh for running vehicles on the streets defying the lockdown.
Speaking at a press briefing at Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) media centre in the capital’s Karwan Bazar on Monday, Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director (Legal and Media Wing) of the RAB, said they are taking strict actions against the lockdown violators.
The Cabinet Division in a circular on Monday extended the ongoing weeklong strict lockdown for another week to contain the spike in coronavirus infections.
The lockdown will continue till July 14.
The country went into the strict COVID-19 lockdown, with the army and police ordered to stop people leaving their homes except for emergencies or to buy essentials.
Army troopers have been deployed to patrol alongside civilian forces during the shutdown, which began on July 1.
As per directives, no one is allowed to leave home except for an emergency during the time of strict restrictions.
The country on Monday recorded the highest single-day COVID-19 fatalities.
According to official figure, 164 people died from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours.
During the same period, around 10,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus.