The streets have thinned out again following the strong presence of law enforcers
Ensuring home quarantine and social distancing are now the main priorities of the government to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. The government has told law enforcement agencies to enforce these as strictly as possible.
So, law enforcement agencies increased their presence and efforts in the capital from yesterday. Several teams of army, police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) were seen patrolling the streets, residential areas and colonies of the city.
On April 1, the Bangladesh Army and the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) announced that they will resort to tough action from yesterday against people not maintaining social distancing and violating home quarantine rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Following the announcement, the streets of Dhaka thinned out.
However, many government officials want to take the next step after taking stock of the situation. They said that in the last ten days, coronavirus did not turn out to be an outbreak in Bangladesh as it did in many other countries. "It seems the country may overcome the crisis."
Cars and people again started to crowd the streets in the last few days as law enforcers loosened their grip on people's movement. But considering the experiences of Italy and Spain, who first took Covid-19 lightly, the government instructed law enforcers to be tough again. So, the number of people and cars on the street fell again yesterday.
People who came out in personal cars were stopped at army, RAB and police check posts. If they gave a valid reason to be outside, the law enforcers let them go. If no valid reason was given, necessary measures are being taken.
The law enforcers closed down many shops except for the ones selling groceries and medicines in residential areas, colonies and roadsides, said local sources.
Also, an army team conducted an awareness drive yesterday, led by Major Belal, at Mohammadpur Bus Stand and in surrounding areas. He urged local people to stay at home and not to go out unless it is an emergency.
Major Belal said that there were not many people on the street compared to that in the last two days due to the strict position of the army.
Also, police and RAB have increased the number of check posts in the capital.
Abdullah Hil Kafi, additional deputy commissioner of Dhanmondi division of the DMP told The Business Standard that they set up check posts to control traffic.
"Many people are going out without a valid reason. For instance, a resident of Hazaribagh went to Dhanmondi to buy food although several shops are open in his area now."
"Many people are also distributing relief to the poor and are continuously on the move. This is dangerous for everyone, but we cannot take action against them."
Earlier the government announced a general holiday to fight the coronavirus outbreak by ensuring social distancing and home quarantine.
On March 25, the Bangladesh Army started working with the local administration in all districts of the country to ensure quarantine and social distancing.