Main roads almost empty but not alleys in Dhaka

Muktadir Rashid | Published: 01:04, Apr 08,2020


Major roads of the capital Dhaka looked on Tuesday almost empty but the alleyways witnessed crowds posing risk as the government and its agencies were struggling to maintain physical distance amid the nationwide public holiday to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The police officials were given instructions by their seniors time to time to keep vigilance whether physical distancing were maintained or protective gears were being used by people roaming around the major streets.

Apart from the people on  emergency services, several hundreds of floating people were seen on the pavements in Maniknagar, Mirpur, Bangla Motors and Hazaribagh areas, among others.

The government on Sunday finally restricted the entry to and exist from Dhaka a day after allowing thousands of garment and textile workers to reach back to their workplaces in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj, among others, while the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Monday instructed all agencies concerned to check whether physical and social distancing were maintained.

The police personnel were seen struggling on the road as many tried to come out of their house.

Hazaribagh police station officer-in-charge Ikaram Ali Mia was seen inspecting a patrol to examine whether his subordinates were working on locations designated. 

Talking to New Age, a number of police officers said that the people tried to come out of their houses after 4:00pm usually when sun heat gets normal.

Alamgir Hossain was seen sitting on the pavement on Zigatala and gossiping with his friends.

Asked, Alamgir said he usually stays home but regularly comes out in the afternoon for one hour and half routinely. ‘When army comes or police patrol, we enter home,’ he added.

Like Hazaribagh, people were seen gathering on the alleyways in Maniknagar.

Ali Akkas Mollah was seen discussing something with a few others in very short proximity.

Asked, he said they would leave the place soon and tried to keep people in the area also inside their house.  A group of youths were seen at time gathering around the place.

In Babubazar area people were also seen gathering while Mitford market was seen crowded as many people were buying personal protection equipment. 

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police spokesperson and deputy commissioner Masudur Rahman said they were trying to enforce social distancing amid the pandemic.

Hundreds of people were seen buying essential items from the dealers under Trading Corporation of Bangladesh while police were been struggling to maintain the physical distance on the queues.

Hazaribagh police assistant sub-inspector Kawser Habib Bhuiyan said they were trying to maintain but it’s difficult if people of the area were not aware of the virus situation.

The Inter Services Public Relation Directorate said on Tuesday that they kept standby a rescue helicopter for the evacuation of COVID-19 patients.

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