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Fresh influx ups risk of new corona cases

Published : 13 May 2020 10:16 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 08:24 PM

Amdadul Haque

The number of people entering Dhaka is increasing as lockdown has been relaxed. As a result, the risk of coronavirus infection escalating alarmingly.

However, the capital city is gradually getting its old appearance as people's tendency of staying at home is decreasing. Law enforcers are allowing people to enter at every entrance of the capital only if they think it is reasonable.

Police have imposed restrictions on entry points to the capital for several days to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Check posts have been set up at various highways and important places including main entrances. But people are entering into the capital and roaming here and there every day ignoring the directives of staying home and maintaining social distancing.

After visiting some important entrance points it is learnt that people are coming to the capital in private cars, CNG auto rickshaws, rickshaws, rented motorbikes and pickup vans as public transports is closed. Police were seen blocking these vehicles with barricades.

A textile worker named Abdur Rahman told Bangladesh Post, "I went to my village home in Noakhali when the lockdown started. But now I have come to get salary and Eid bonus. The office is also open to a limited extent.”

Mashud Ahmed, who came from Sylhet, said, “I left for Dhaka after having Sehri. I have come as the market is open. I have clothes business in Aziz Super Market.”

Answering a question, he said, “there are no buses on the road. But other transports are available. It takes a little more time and money, but there is no accountability on the roads. Cars, trucks, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws small passenger carriers are plying on the streets.”

An on duty police officer at the check post of Jatrabari, said, “The readymade garment factories have opened. So the lockdown has been relaxed a bit. People are coming in a large number now. The same situation remains at all entrances of the city.”

Jatrabari Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mazharul Islam told Bangladesh Post, "We are actually stopping and questioning someone from outside Dhaka. We let them enter the city when they give us a reasonable reason. If they can't show the reason, they are sent back.”

Highway Police DIG Atiqul Islam told Bangladesh Post, "We are vigilant about stopping buses on the highway. No one will be able to take out public transport on the road unless the government allows. But people are coming to the capital from different districts with different tactics. Police have set up checkpoints to prevent them from entering the capital. But if people are not aware, it will be difficult to restrict entry.”

Rezaul Haque, former chairman of the Human Rights Commission, said, "We do not see any kind of preparation that should have been taken to get people back to work. It would have been better to relax the lockdown after Eid.”

Contacted, deputy commissioner (media) of the DMP Masudur Rahman, said, “Police have been trying to control people from entering the city. Even, DMP's mobile courts have been fining every day if anyone can not show a reasonable reason to enter into the city.”

"People have to follow the rules as part of civic responsibility. It is not possible for police alone to ensure social distancing and stopping massive influx unless they cooperate," he said.