The government has declared public holidays to curb the spread of coronavirus
People today rushed to different banks and to automated teller machines (ATMs) to withdraw cash ahead of a 10-day general public holiday.
The Ministry of Public Administration today announced the holidays from March 29 to April 2 to allow people to stay at home to reign in the spread of coronavirus.
March 26 is a holiday because it is Independence Day, and March 27-28 and April 3-4 are weekends.
So, government employees will get a 10-day general holiday.
"I have been roaming around the banks and observing the situation since morning as people crowd to cash counters," said Assistant General Manager Anisur Rahman, also manager at Pubali Bank's principal branch at Motijheel.
People thronged to the cash counters of Sonali Bank's local office at the city's Motijheel area since Tuesday morning, and police were deployed to tackle the situation.
There were long queues at ATM booths in the city, including those at Motijheel, Baridhara, Karwan Bazar and Kamalapur.
"We are withdrawing extra money in case we need it during the holidays," said Md Rasel Sheikh, a private company employee, at Bank Asia's ATM booth in Dilkusha.
Dutch-Bangla Bank's ATM service in Motijheel ran out of cash before noon amid the withdrawal spree.
Many banks rushed to the Bangladesh Bank to collect cash with their secured vehicles and security personnel.
"Nothing to worry about. People can withdraw money because banks will remain open for another day this week," Dr Mohammed Haider Ali Miah, managing director of Exim Bank, told The Business Standard.
Besides, banks will remain open for a limited number of hours next week, he added.
The central bank issued a circular today declaring that banks will provide services on a limited scale so that people can withdraw money to meet their daily expenses and traders can deposit their cash from March 29 to April 2.
During this period, banks will remain open for only cash transactions from 10:00am to 12:00 noon. But bankers will have to work till 1:30pm.