The streets of Chattogram city have become almost empty during the first day of the lockdown over Covid-19. There have hardly been any vehicles on the streets since Thursday morning and this densely populated city has become unusually quiet.
Army personnel are patrolling the roads and stopping vehicles. Seventeen army teams have been deployed in the city since Wednesday morning.
Long-distance bus services have been stopped, and even local buses, auto-rickshaws, tempos, rickshaws and private cars are not allowed on the roads.
"I am staying at home because of the government order. I can see the Muradpur intersection from my window. There are usually thousands of vehicles going across it every day, but today's picture is completely different," said Nizam Uddin, a college teacher who lives in the Muradpur area of Chattogram city.
"There are no vehicles on the streets. One only sees law enforcers there," he added.
Ariful Islam, who lives in the Agrabad area, said, "Practically, I am living in home confinement. We have to accept the situation as there is no other option to prevent coronavirus. There are no vehicles on the streets. I have never seen such a picture in my life."
Md Harunur Rashid, general secretary of Chattogram Auto-rickshaw Auto-tempo Workers' Union, told The Business Standard, "Around 13,000 auto-rickshaws and 2,000 tempos run in the city every day. Around 40,000 auto-rickshaws run in different upazilas of the district. The movement of all vehicles has being halted from Thursday morning."
"The government should give incentives to the workers involved with these vehicles because they will find no work in the next 10 days of lockdown," he added.
Kafil Uddin Ahmed, general secretary of Inter-district Bus Owner Samity, said, "Around seven hundred buses usually run on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway, but these services have been halted from Thursday morning as per the government order. It will remain like this until April 4."
"The central leaders of the association in Dhaka are thinking about payment of workers," he added.