After an eight-day break over holy Eid-ul-Azha, a strict lockdown started again across the country on Friday to fight coronavirus, keeping all factories, offices and public transport closed.
The country went into another 14-day strict lockdown from 6am on Friday, a day after the Eid holiday. The lockdown will continue from July 23 to August 5 to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Members of armed forces and the BGB were deployed to impose the restrictions.
Operations of trains, launches, domestic flights and all types of motor vehicles were suspended. But, trucks, lorries, covered vans and cargo vessels used for goods transportation remained out of the purview of the lockdown.
Earlier, the Cabinet Division eased the restrictions from July 14 for the celebration of the holy Eid-ul-Azha festival.
On the first day of the lockdown, the busy streets of Dhaka city looked deserted as a few rickshaws, vans, ambulances, goods transport and vehicles of the media and law enforcement agencies were seen plying the roads.
As Friday was a weekly holiday, pedestrians were few on the streets. The kitchen markets were mostly devoid of customers.
All shops, including shopping malls, and markets remained closed. All tourist centres, resorts, community centres and recreation centres came to a close.
All public gatherings such as social (wedding ceremonies, birthdays, picnics, parties, etc), political and religious ceremonies were suspended.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) arrested a total of 403 people and fined 203 others for breaching the Covid-19 restrictions at different places in the capital on the first day of the 14-day strict lockdown.
DMP mobile courts collected Tk 127,270 in fines from 203 people while the traffic division also collected Tk 1,060,500 in fines from 441 vehicles’ owners for violating the lockdown rules, said a press release
State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain on Thursday hinted at imposing a tight lockdown with the deployment of BGB and army personnel.
“Offices and export-oriented industries, including readymade garment (RMG) factories, will remain closed during the lockdown,” he said.
According to the notification, all offices, including government, semi-government, autonomous and private offices, will remain closed, but they will remain on their workstations and conduct office activities virtually.
All kinds of factories will remain closed. Ports and related offices came outside the purview of the lockdown.
Law enforcement and other emergency services such as agricultural elements (fertilizer, seeds, pesticides, equipment etc), crops and transportation, relief distribution, health services, Covid-19 vaccination, electricity, water, gas/petroleum, fire service, telephone and internet (government- private), media (print and electronic media), private security systems, post, bank, pharmacy and pharmaceuticals and other emergency and essential products and services related offices, their employees and vehicles can move showing their institutional identity cards.
The Supreme Court will issue necessary directives to the courts and the Bangladesh Bank will issue necessary instructions to ensure banking services.
The Finance Division will provide necessary instructions to keep the office of the Accounting Officer at the divisional, district and upazila level open.
Kitchen markets materials and daily necessities can be bought and sold in the open from 9:00am to 3:00pm in accordance with hygiene rules. Market authorities/local administration will confirm the matter.
Except for absolute necessity (medicine and daily essential products, treatment, burial/funeral, etc), no one can go outside.
Movements will be allowed for Covid-19 vaccine candidates upon presenting vaccine card.
Food shops and hotels-restaurants will be open for takeaway/online from 8:00am to 8:00pm.
International flights will continue and passengers will be able to travel via car by showing their international travel tickets.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs will issue instructions regarding prayers in the mosque following hygiene rules.
Under the ‘Army in Aid to Civil Power Act’, the Armed Forces Division will deploy the required number of troops to ensure effective patrolling at the field level. The district magistrate will confirm the matter in consultation with the local army commander.
The district magistrate will hold a coordination meeting with the concerned officers at the district level to determine the jurisdiction, method, and time of patrolling of the Army, BGB/Coast Guard, Police, RAB and Ansar.
The Ministry of Public Administration will ensure the appointment of the required number of Executive Magistrates at the field level.
Under the Infectious Diseases (Prevention, Control and Eradication) Act, 2018, the Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) will allow the district administration and the police force to take legal action on his behalf.
Earlier, the government on July 5 extended all-out strict lockdown by seven days after first spell of strict lockdown was imposed from July 1 as the number of deaths and infections increased by leaps and bounds. Earlier on June 30, the Cabinet Division extended the lockdown from July 1 to 7 imposing 21-point restrictions.
Before going to strict enforcement of lockdown from July 1, the government on June 16 last extended the countrywide ‘so-called’ lockdown for a month until July 15 reopening all government and private offices, autonomous organisations, banks and financial institutions.
Borders with India still remained closed. On June 28, the closure of the border with India was extended for another 14 days until July 14. The border was first closed on April 26.
On June 6, the government extended the countrywide lockdown for 10 days until June 16, saying the deputy commissioners of high-risk districts can announce lockdown in their respective areas after discussion with the local representatives and the committees concerned.
Due to a rise in coronavirus cases from mid-March, the government imposed a relaxed lockdown for one week from April 5.
But the government allowed resumption of public transport services in city corporation areas from April 7 as well as reopening of shops and markets for five days from April 9 in the face of protests against the lockdown.
The relaxed lockdown was extended for two more days until April 13. As per the suggestions of health experts, the government enforced a stricter lockdown from April 14 to April 22, which was extended until July 15 in phases.
On May 8 last, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed the detection of the Delta variant in Bangladesh.
Country’s educational institutions remain closed from last year and it will remain close until July 31.