The streets and main roads of the capital were brimming with people and vehicles on Tuesday – the seventh day of the lockdown.
Amid this situation, the government has decided to extend the ongoing lockdown by another week to 28 April as infections keep surging. The fresh lockdown will be enforced from 22 April after the ongoing phase ends on 21 April.
In the new gazette notification issued in this regard on Tuesday said restrictions imposed in the previous week will be effective during the extended period too.
As per the instruction, all government, semi-government, autonomous and private offices will remain closed, while banks and stock markets will remain open on a limited scale. All modes of public transports will remain closed during the lockdown too.
However, special and chartered flights will be in operations. Industries and factories will be running in compliance with the health guidelines.
All emergency services are excluded from the ban.
Meanwhile, visiting key spots of the city, The Business Standard correspondents witnessed an increase in the number of pedestrians and private vehicles yesterday compared to the earlier days of the lockdown.
At the Shahbagh intersection, Katabon, Bata Signal and Science Lab, Banglamotor, Karwan Bazar intersection, Mogbazar intersection, police were rarely stopping and checking people for pass. There were also an increased number of rickshaws and motorcycles on the streets.
In the city's Banani area, the pressure of private vehicles caused slight traffic congestions in certain places.
Most of the shops remained closed in these places.
Tofail, a rickshaw puller, said he brought a patient all the way from Jatrabari to the Birdem Hospital.
"The police did not stop or interrogate me anywhere on the way. I have not seen them checking anyone else either while driving," he told The Business Standard.
However, a number of car drivers and passengers blamed the police checkpoints for slower movement of traffic as they were stopping vehicles and inquiring about the purpose of movement.
Some people have also complained that they had movement passes, but the police still harassed them.
Riyaduzzaman, who came from Narayanganj to visit a relative at the Labaid Hospital, had a soft copy of the pass on his phone but police harassed him for not having a printed copy of it.
He told TBS, "I have no printer at my home, and all the printers' shops were closed. How could I show them a printed pass?"
Golam Mostafa, inspector (traffic) of Shahbagh area, said the police are doing what they can as most of the people came out with movement passes.
"If people go out with passes, we cannot stop them. We are stopping only those who came out without passes and filed cases against them if necessary," Golam Mostafa told TBS.
Meanwhile, people turned out in huge numbers to submit samples for Covid-19 tests in front of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University's RT-PCR lab set up at the Betar Bhaban.
Besides, Saudi expatriates gathered in front of the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel ignoring social distancing rules, demanding tickets for travelling back to their workplaces.
"The size of the crowds on the roads is alarming. Sometimes it becomes very difficult for us to control people. But from tomorrow we will be stricter with commuters about obeying the government health security rules," said Morshedul Islam, traffic sergeant of the Ramna division.