More city dwellers, cars on the streets amid ‘strict lockdown’
Wednesday’s record 201 deaths from dreaded Covid-19 and detention of hundreds of lockdown violators could not resist people from coming out of homes on Thursday in the capital. City streets witnessed an increased number of vehicles and on the eighth day of the ongoing countrywide “strict lockdown”, enforced to control the community transmission of the deadly virus.
Dhaka’s usual traffic congestion returned since Monday when the banks were reopened after four days holiday. The administration is struggling to stop people from coming out on the streets as people mostly left home to either go to offices, factories, to provide emergency services, or to go to the kitchen markets in the city. The alleys and lanes are more crowded than the main roads. Visiting a number of spots including Farmgate, Kawranbazar, Panthapath, Banglamotor and Shahbag area, it was seen that there were more private vehicles on the roads than ever before in the strict lockdown period.
Shahadat Hossain, a private employee, told The Business Standard, their office has opened from Wednesday ignoring the lockdown measure. “It will be operated with 50% workforce. However, those who aren’t part of the office know that the office is still shut off,” he said. Karwanbazar Traffic Sargent Md Ashikur Rahman said 6-7 cases have been lodged for violating lockdown and traffic measures since morning near the Karwanbazar SAARC Square. He also said the traffic pressure is heavier than the previous days.
Md Selim, a rental driver who was fined by police, said, I brought passengers from the airport. Passengers coming from or going abroad are allowed to travel but my car was stopped and fined. In the past 24 hours until Wednesday morning, Bangladesh recorded the highest 201 single day deaths. Besides, 11,162 more people were diagnosed positive with the virus in the day. With the latest infection and fatality counts, the death tally now stands at 15,593 as the total caseload reaches 977,568, according to the health directorate.