Coronavirus: Bangladesh troops patrol to maintain social distance 

Muktadir Rashid | Updated at 12:03am on March 26, 2020

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A military vehicle patrols the Purana Paltan area in Dhaka on Wednesday as government deploys the force to maintain restrictions to check coronavirus spread. — Indrajit Kumer Ghosh

Military personnel began their works in aid to civil administration and continued patrol at major cities and remote areas to ensure people’s social distance for containing spread of coronavirus.

In the capital, the army personnel communicating with respective police officials began patrolling city since morning.

The navy personnel also started working in the coastal area from Wednesday after the government on Monday ordered deployment of three services in aid to civil administration to fight the  coronavirus situation after announcing 10-day public holiday from Thursday.

As the part of the deployment, the air force already opened its corona coordination and monitoring cell to mainly to air transport army and navy personnel to and from any locations.

The Inter Services Public Relations in a statement asked people not to spread any confusing news over the deployment of troops.

Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Ibn Zaid, the director at the ISPR, told New Age that the armed forces personnel would patrol areas nearer to cantonments from their facilities while they would be deployed at remote locations considering the situation.

He said that necessary personal protection equipment was supplied to the armed forces members.

The military personnel will also focus on ensuring quarantine of people coming from abroad, he said.

Gulshan police additional deputy commissioner Abdul Ahad said that the army officials already communicated with them to continue their patrol and they were focusing on densely populated Badda and Bhatara areas.

The Gulshan division deputy commissioner Sudip Kumar Chakraborty said that they had already identified the areas to maintain order.

In Chattogram, the army personnel with firearms started patrolling at the major crossings in the city and were asking people on the public announcement system not to roam around.

Chattogram district executive magistrate Towhidul Islam said that they were enforcing quarantine of those who arrived from abroad with the help of military personnel.

Magura upazila nirbahi officer Abu Sufian said that they along with the army team were patrolling Isakada area on the outskirt of the district headquarters to check whether people were maintaining social distances.

The novel virus has already killed five and infected 39 people so far in Bangladesh as the disease earlier this month was characterised as a global pandemic after its outbreak in China in December.  

The air force and the navy kept their medical teams standby to provide any support along with the medical teams working under the Armed Forces Division.