The authorities concerned seem to still have half a mind as to when and how the zone-based lockdown will be implemented in Dhaka – the worst affected place having over 50 percent of the total Covid-19 cases nationwide.
Implementing authorities or local government bodies in Dhaka city said they are still confused regarding the issue and are waiting for the micro-maps of zones currently being developed by the health ministry.
But an additional secretary of the ministry, wishing anonymity, confirmed there is no hope of implementing zone-wise lockdown within this week.
The ministry is still working on the mapping, and it is quite difficult to say when it will be completed, he added.
The government announced to implement zone-based lockdown after an upsurge in Covid-19 infections due to the lifting of general holidays and countrywide shutdown.
It also formulated a guideline in this regard, which said that a Dhaka city area with at least 60 Covid-19 cases would be marked as a red zone and thereby be put on lockdown.
On Tuesday last, mayors of both Dhaka North and Dhaka South city corporations told the media that they could implement the lockdown within 2-3 days.
But councillors, who are mainly responsible for the implementation, said they know nothing specific on this issue.
The Business Standard on Wednesday talked to at least 10 councillors of the both city corporations.
"We heard something like that [zone-based lockdown] but do not know when and how it will be implemented. Nor have we even got any concrete instruction from the higher authorities," said Mofizur Rahman, councillor of ward-37 of Dhaka North City Corporation.
Hasibur Rahman Manik, another councillor of Dhaka north, said he is yet to get any map or details regarding his area.
"We are waiting for the map and the guidelines. Every day, I receive more than one hundred phone calls on the issue but I have no straight answer for them," he added.
Meanwhile, Local Government Minister Tajul Islam, while visiting the capital's east Rajabazar on Wednesday, said the lockdown has been carried out experimentally in that area and that it will be carried out elsewhere in the country, including other areas of Dhaka, where necessary.
He emphasised engagement of local communities to make the lockdown effective, especially in red zones.
Dhaka north city Mayor Atiqul Islam accompanied the minister.
He said, "We have told the national technical committee [to prevent Covid-19] that the health directorate is working on how to make the new zoning more precise. We are optimistic, but we need everyone to come forward socially. We will be successful only when the common people will come forward to keep their areas safe."
According to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, 45 areas of Dhaka city have been marked as red zones which have at least 60 Covid-19 patients. Dhaka south has 28 red zones while Dhaka north has 17.
Red zones of Dhaka north are Gulshan, Badda, Cantonment, Mohakhali, Tejgaon, Rampura, Aftabnagar, Mohammadpur, Kallayanpur, Mogbazar, Airport, Banasree, Rajabazar, Uttara and Mirpur.
In Dhaka south, the red zone areas are Jatrabari, Demra, Mugda, Gendaria, Dhanmondi, Jigatola, Lalbagh, Azimpur, Basabo, Shantinagar, Paltan, Kolabagan, Ramna, Sutrapur, Malibag, Kotowali, Tikatuli, Mitford, Shahjahanpur, Motijheel, Wari, Khilgaon, Paribagh, Kadamtali, Siddheswari, Laksmi Bazar, Elephant Road and Segunbagicha.