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Security tightened at Dhaka gateways

The move aims to prevent further corona transmissions during Eid festival

Published : 20 May 2020 10:08 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 11:49 AM

With no improvement in sight, the government has instructed to impose restrictions on entering or leaving the capital in fear of further spreading of the infection across the country.

Such measure has become highly essential amid the cyclone Amphan as movement of people is believed to be more rampant at this time and also Eid festival.

Although the police and army were seen active in all the exit points of the capital to implement the 14-point directives given by the government, in the recent few days, however, the enforcement seems to be relaxed to a great extent ahead of the Eid festival when people travel much to their social needs.

Police officials say that many of those stopped at check points to prevent their entry into the capital give lame excuses to enter the city while others show urgent causes to meet their families left behind.

On Tuesday morning, several thousand people gathered at Mawa ferry terminal in their desperate bid to cross the Padma River although ferry services remained suspended.

Thousands of people started their journeys to go home through Shimulia-Kathalbari in Munshiganj and Paturia-Daulatdia routes in Manikganj since morning defying the government’s restrictions on movement and taking the risk of virus infection.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) suspended ferry services on Shimulia-Kathalbari river route at 3pm on Monday to stop people from travelling home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Md Shafiqul Islam, assistant general manager of BIWTC said, “The decision was taken after consulting the Ministry of Shipping.”
“Ferries will transport only ambulances carrying bodies until further notice,” he said adding that goods-laden trucks will not be allowed either to cross the river.

Public Health experts warned that allowing people to either leave or enter the capital amid the alarming spike in coronavirus cases will be suicidal as the virus may spread all over the country.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed on Sunday directed police officers to take steps so that people can neither leave nor enter Dhaka taking advantage of the upcoming Eid vacation and the ongoing general holidays.

He also urged people not to go to their village homes from the capital and other cities during the general and Eid holidays and follow the health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asked how people are departing the city and gathering at the ferry terminals when police check-posts are there, law enforcers said that some people may be giving wrong information to law enforcers to get permission to leave the city.

Public health expert, Professor Lutfor Rahman talking to Bangladesh Post said, “It would be risky for all people to travel to villages, as we don’t know who is infected. Even they are leaving the capital despite falling into greater health risk.”