Law enforcement has adopted harsher measures to get people off the streets and send them to their homes in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
From Wednesday morning, police and the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) baton-charged individuals gathered in front of tea stalls in Dhaka who were defying government orders to stay home.
Meanwhile, law enforcement has found a number of returnees from abroad have been dodging home quarantine in several districts. Previously, the police headquarters asked the expatriates – recently returned home – to report to their respective police stations.
In an unprecedented move, Manikganj Deputy Commissioner SM Ferdous announced he will cancel the passports of returnees if they are not under self-quarantine, or violate the rules of self-isolation.
He also issued a public circular in this regard.
Police were found patrolling Dhaka's Mohammadpur, Adabor and Mirpur areas of the capital. They forced people to clear from the streets. Police also baton-charged gatherings in Pirojpur and Manikganj.
Shahen Fakir, officer-in-charge (OC) of Bangshal Police Station, said they urged the city dwellers not to come out of their residences. Just some food and medicine stores were allowed to stay open in Dhaka's Bangshal.
"We set up banners for Bangladesh returnees to stay home. Moreover, we are monitoring so that no returnee violates rules of self-isolation," added the OC.
Police mobile teams were ensuring the security of the institutions complied with the government-announced shutdown.
Dhaka's Dakshinkhan police Officer-in-Charge Helal Uddin said they boosted patrols so that people stay at home.
In the meantime, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police sprayed disinfectant using water cannon and water tankers. The DMP said it will continue spraying twice a day. Barisal Metropolitan Police is also spraying disinfectant in Barisal city.
Residential areas in the capital have restricted movement. Urging all to follow the government lockdown, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said, "Stay home to fight the spread of coronavirus."
The minister asked people to cooperate with law enforcement instead of panic because of rumours and misinformation.