‘Lockdown proving to be ineffective’

Many people have expressed frustration over continuous extension of shutdown saying that such measures are proven to be ineffective.

The government on Monday extended the ongoing general holidays till May 16 amid an increasing trend in coronavirus cases and deaths.

From March 26, the country is experiencing official shutdown as announced by the government from time to time.
To many, such shutdown is meaningless. A university student expressed her feelings about the shutdown saying that the lockdown is coming in no use.

Many of the frustrated citizens, who question effectiveness of the shutdown, pointed out that many people are not maintaining social distances and also not wearing proper protective gears in public places which are the main reasons why such shutdown is enforced.

“If the crowd does not follow rules of maintaining personal hygiene and protect each other from contamination of the virus then what is the use of enforcing such lockdown?” asked another citizen from Mahakhali.

Citing examples, some pointed out that some political parties and NGOs are still holding press conferences, meetings and bringing out street rallies defying the government’s instructions to strictly follow the general rules of protecting each other from transmitting coronavirus.

Even worse, many of the citizens also questioned allowing the garments factories to continue to operate in such shutdown situation. They also described the worrying situation in many local kitchen or grocery markets where huge crowds are seen everyday without any protection.

On Saturday, huge numbers of garment workers in Tangail used local transports and even walked to reach back to their work places in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj to attend their duties.

Many workers travelled on public transports to join work risking transmission of coronavirus.
Since there is no public transport on the highway, the apparel workers are opting for auto-rickshaws, motorcycles to reach their destination. Many are seen walking with their luggage.

Local police sources said huge crowds of workers are seen at Bangabandhu Bridge, Elenga by-pass, Tangail by-pass, and Mirzapur waiting for transports.

However, highway police at Elenga and Gorai said that the workers were not travelling on trucks or pick-up vans. Many workers are going to Dhaka, Gazipur and Savar on foot.

Taslima Akhter, President of Bangladesh Garment Shramik Sanghati president and Julhas Nayeen Babu, General Secretary of the same organization on Saturday demanded that the details of all corona-infected workers in Savar should be made public and the factories should be put under lockdown.

The Labour Ministry, in the meantime, announced on Saturday that the garment factory workers can join works in Dhaka and its adjacent areas.

Inspector general of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments in a letter to the BGMEA president said that if any worker needed to come back to Dhaka to join work he/she would have to show factory identity card.

Meanwhile, the police and the army on duty in public places are trying their best to contain the public gatherings. “Many people give lame excuses to come out and request us to let them reach their destinations,” said a police officer on duty at Shapla Chattar in Motijheel.

There is no denying that the grocery markets are assumed to be most crowded places where people are generally found to be least bothered about protection of their health.

“We cannot stop thousands of people storming at the bazaars. But our efforts are continuous to bring this discipline. We are constantly making announcements on loudspeakers to maintain physical distances but only a few seem to care,” said Dhaka North City Corporation officer in Uttara.