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Bangladesh: Day 1 of hard lockdown-roads empty, most shops closed

Bangladesh began the first day of the 8-day long hard lockdown on Wednesday with roads having low traffic and most of the shops in Dhaka being closed except those for daily essentials like fruits, vegetables and grocery shops.

Though Wednesday, 14 April happens to be the Bangla new year and Pohela Boisakh, which are considered days of celebration for the people, the streets were deserted and there was no festivity visible in the city as Bangladesh is battling hard to control the spread of Coronavirus with lockdown since April 5. The second phase of the lockdown called hard lockdown started on Wednesday, 14 April. It will be in force till 21st April.

Police have set up checking points on major streets to control the movement of people. As per the government directive, no public transport is allowed to operate in the city. Buses are off road. Trains, waterways and flights have been cancelled. Offices are closed. However, the factories are open under the supervision of a specially constituted team to ensure compliance with health directives of the government. Emergency and essential services are allowed to open.

Police have asked people not to come out of their homes except in case of emergency. A system of ‘movement pass’ has been put in place by the police to allow people to come out of their homes in unavoidable and emergency cases.

In other towns and cities of Bangladesh like Pabna, Bhola, Cox’ Bazar similar reports are being received. The presence on the road is considerably low and vehicular traffic is very thin.

Bangladesh is under countrywide lockdown from 14-21 April to control the spiralling cases of COVID 19 in the country.

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