The second day of the new lockdown has seen an increase in traffic in Dhaka as the country battles to curb rising cases of the coronavirus.
Many rickshaws are plying the streets of Rampura, Malibagh, Bijoynagar and Kakrail. Police personnel are stopping vehicles at checkpoints and checking for lockdown passes. Those without passes are fined and turned away. Some vehicles are seized. Citizens without passes are urged to stay home through loudspeakers, reports bdnews24.com.
“Many rickshaws have hit the streets today. I have come here by rickshaw from Rampura’s Chowdhurypara. I asked the driver why he was out today. He told me he has no option as he has to feed a family of five,” said Sirajul Islam, an official at Islami Bank Hospital in Kakrail.
Some rickshaws were seen overturned at Kakrail and Nightingale Restaurant intersections in the morning.
“Please tell the police officer to release my rickshaw. I made a mistake as I should have stayed in the alleys. I got caught by the police after coming to Kakrail,” said Kalu Mia, a rickshaw-driver
All types of vehicles are banned during the lockdown, said a policeman at the Kakrail intersection. The rickshaw drivers are being punished for breaking the law. Their vehicles will be released after some time.
Eight autorickshaws and some cars were stopped by the police at Bijoynagar for breaking the law. None of the drivers has lockdown passes and will be fined, said police personnel.
The kitchen markets are open, while all the shops are shut.
Hafeez, a security guard at Karnafuli market, said, “The shopping mall will stay closed until Apr 21. Shop owners and staff are barred from entering the mall.”
Various entrances to Purana Paltan Lane are closed.
“There is no way you can control vehicles without enforcing a strict lockdown. The coronavirus death toll is foreshadowing a major catastrophe,” said Abdus Salam Talukder, a resident of Purana Paltan.
The residents of the area were told not to come out of their houses, said Talukder. “We have allowed pushcart vendors in the area for trading food products and essentials. Many are benefiting from it because the infection rate is high in the market and it is risky to go there.”
The government imposed a strict seven-day lockdown from Apr 14 to control the spread of the virus. It will be in effect until Apr 21.
All offices, public transport, markets, shopping malls, shops, hotels and restaurants will remain shut during the lockdown. Factories will remain open and limited banking services will be available.
Citizens are not allowed to leave their houses except for emergency purposes. Grocery and corner stores are allowed to operate.