Military personnel started visiting houses of Bangladeshis who returned from abroad to check whether they were maintaining mandatory home quarantine as part of their deployment ‘in aid to civil administration’ to face coronavirus situation.
Troops along with police from respective police stations were also restricting vehicular movements in Dhaka and elsewhere. The also asked people using public address system not to come out of their house unnecessarily.
The military and police officials said they were also providing people masks if anyone found without the gear which became expansive in recent days, and sprayed disinfectants on different roads in Dhaka and elsewhere.
Inter-Services Public Relations director Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Ibn Zaid said that on the first day the troops visited locations and now they were updating the lists of people who returned home from abroad and checking whether they were maintaining home quarantine.
On Mirpur Road in Dhaka, an army patrol team was seen asking people not to ride on pillion on motorbikes to maintain social distance. Three people on a rickshaw were also barred and they were asked to walk to maintain social distance.
The team led by Captain Sumaiya also visited the flat of a recently returned Bangladeshi near Science Laboratory to see whether home-quarantine is maintained.
Captain Rafat Hasnain Juberi with his team patrolled Gulshan area. He said that they got a list of people who recently travelled abroad and now were updating the list.
In Magura, upazila nirbahi officer Abu Sufian was seen ensuring social distance among customers at a pharmacy. Similar initiatives were also seen in Chattogram by the police.
Navy personnel started working in the coastal area since Wednesday and the air force members provided dry foods to low-income people near different air force bases.
Reports from many places said that the police were torturing people to ensure social distancing.
A video went viral on social media that showed a police official forcing a rickshaw-puller to roll on the street in Jamalpur. Jamalpur police superintendent Delwar Hossain said that departmental action would be taken against the official.
Another viral video from Tangail showed a police team charging batons on people for not wearing masks.
‘Some over enthusiastic personnel got inspired by footages of other countries. As soon as we received the information, I ordered not to do anything unprofessionally,’ said Tangail police superintendent Sanjit Kumar Roy.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Friday said that law enforcement agencies were working to discourage unnecessary public gatherings. He said that police would discourage people who were coming out on streets.
Dhaka looked deserted on Friday as the government declared 10 day general holiday from Thursday.
No public transport was seen on any roads and a few kitchen markets, groceries, medicine shops and very few restaurants remained open.
Ariful Islam, a medicine shopkeeper at Tajmahal Road of Mohammadpur said, ‘Since morning I have seen 10 to 12 persons to cross Tajmahal Road which remain crowded on other days.’
‘I haven’t seen such lifeless Dhaka in my 35 years in the city,’ said Ahsan Ali, a security guard of an ATM booth at Farmgate.
Sohrab Hossain, a 60-year-old rickshaw puller waiting at College Gate on Mirpur Road, said that he could manage only three trips in the whole day.
Five people died of COVID-19 in Bangladesh and 48 people so far got infected with the disease so far.
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