People living on the five streets of the capital’s Wari, where a 21-day lockdown was enforced on Saturday, frequently go outside of their houses ignoring the government restrictions at the risk of fuelling the community transmission of COVID-19.
Locals said that males, mostly aged between 12 and 40 years, were found on the streets throughout the day purchasing things from chain shops or even just gossiping although people were asked to stay at home to contain the coronavirus infections.
Even many of those assigned as volunteers by Dhaka South City Corporation did not use masks mandatory for all now, they said.
‘Many youths living in the slums along the Ranking Street and Wyre Street are found on the streets throughout the day,’ said Irfan Pappu, a local.
‘It looks like that they have taken the lockdown as a vacation for enjoyment,’ he added.
Eminent virologist Md Nazrul Islam said that the community transmission would continue if people went out and gathered for gossiping.
The lockdown, he said, would not yield the expected results if not strictly enforced, as happened in Purba Rajabazar.
Even after the 21-day lockdown in Purba Rajabazar that ended on Tuesday midnight, Dhaka North City Corporation had to keep 27 houses under lockdown, each of which had at least one COVID-19 patient.
Before slapping the lockdown measures in Purba Rajabazar on June 10, the number of COVID-19 patients in the area was 31.
Ahmed Imtiaz Mannafi, a member of the DSCC-formed lockdown implementation committee for Wari, said that from Sunday noon the police started taking actions against those who were found on the streets.
‘It’s a difficult task to keep all the residents at home in a densely-populated area where over 60,000 people live on the five streets alone,’ he said.
Mannafi, also the ward 38 councillor under the city corporation, said that people also did not show much interest to undergo the COVID-19 test.
‘Only 17 people came for testing on Sunday. And all the 13 people who gave sample on Saturday were found negative,’ he said.
DSCC enforced the Wari lockdown after the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research last week issued a list of 46 COVID-19 patients and the area map to the corporation for putting it on lockdown.
On June 30, the public administration ministry declared a 21-day general holiday for the red zones — Larmini Street, Hare Street, Wyre Street, Rankin Street and Nawab Street — of Wari from Saturday, which would be applicable for all the residents and offices in the neighbourhoods.
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