Cox’s Bazar and Narsingdi locked down; police taking a hard line in Chattogram over gatherings; daily life in Tangail comes to a standstill
Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases in Narayanganj and Madaripur nearly a month ago. The virus has spread to 18 districts so far – including several areas of the capital.
The Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) says Narayanganj has become concentrated with coronavirus cases in the last month.
Local administration and city dwellers said the virus could spread further across the country as a lockdown was belatedly imposed there.
Police got tough in Narayanganj on Wednesday – the first day of the lockdown – to implement restrictions on movement and maintain social distancing.
Police also raided several areas of Chattogram to get people off the streets amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In the meantime, Cox's Bazar and Narsingdi were locked down on Wednesday while daily life in Tangail came to a standstill.
The Business Standard's bureaus and correspondents reported in detail.
Police take a hard line in Narayanganj
Law enforcement set up check posts at the entry points of the district and Narayanganj city. Police stopped each arrival at the checkpoints for questioning.
Only people with emergencies were allowed to get in or out while others were sent back home.
Additionally, police patrolling the city also faced police questions, said Narayanganj Additional Superintendent of Police Monirul Islam.
Monirul said they would let individuals go if they could prove they had a valid reason to do so.
Most of the areas of the city appeared deserted from Wednesday morning. Later, many flocked at kitchen markets, not maintaining social distancing.
According to Narayanganj Civil Surgeon Mohammad Imtiaz, the district had a total of 37 confirmed cases as of Wednesday while six of them died.
Police raid public gathering in Chattogram
Police were conducting drives in several areas of the port city of Chattogram. They set up checkpoints at the five entry points to the city and no vehicle except emergency services was allowed to enter or exit.
Law enforcement also conducted drives to leisure spots and key points of Chattogram, Wednesday, including in: New Market, Kotowali, Andarkilla, Chawkbazar, Muradpur, and Bahaddarhat.
Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) Commissioner Md Mahabubor Rahman said that they had been instructed to get tough to disperse public gatherings.
"We have asked the city dwellers to stay home. The field level officers have been told to get tough to get people off the streets. Legal action will be taken if anyone violates the stay-home order," added the CMP commissioner.
Tangail was locked down on Tuesday afternoon to curb the virus' spread.
Most of the markets and shops were shuttered and bustling roads appeared deserted on Wednesday as police and armed forces personnel patrolled to enforce social distancing.
People did not dare to come out and there was no public transportation in the district town.
Cox's Bazar, Narsingdi on lockdown
Southern coast district Cox's Bazar and central Bangladesh district Narsingdi were locked down on Wednesday.
Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Md Kamal Hossain announced the closure on Wednesday afternoon and spelled stern action against lockdown violators.
Meanwhile, Narsingdi Deputy Commissioner Syeda Farhana Kawnine announced the lockdown from Thursday morning.
Narsingdi Additional Deputy Commissioner Imrul Kayes said the two coronavirus cases in the district had come from Narayanganj.
Kayes said the restrictions will be in effect across the district except the Dhaka-Sylhet highway. Emergency services like ambulances and food supply will be out of the purview of the lockdown.
Meanwhile, locals blocked the entrances to some villages as thousands of ready-made garment workers returned home from Dhaka.
Villagers claimed most of the returnees did not maintain self-isolation and roamed around the neighborhoods shortly after their arrival.