To stem the spread of coronavirus, the social distancing measure appeared to be fruitful on Thursday, the first of the 10-day general holiday. Most of the people across the country have kept themselves confined to home. But people in some areas were reluctant to do so and law enforcers forced them to stay home.
All kinds of shops, eateries, shopping malls except for those that sell daily essentials and medicine were shut, according to information sent by our correspondents from different parts of the country.
Only the people with emergency services and a small of number of day labourers came out of their home. No public transport but a few rickshaws plied the roads in many areas amid a thin presence of passengers.
Law enforcers were active from the morning. In some areas, they used loudspeakers to ask people to stay home and maintain social distancing. They called upon people not to come out of home without good reason.
In her nationwide address, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked citizens, "Stay separate for 14 days only. It is necessary to obey the directives to save the lives of your family members, neighbours, local people, and overall the lives of people. Stay at home as much as possible. Do not go out of home without an emergency."
Purchase of daily essentials maintaining three feet distance
Magura Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Abu Sufiyan along with a joint force comprising of army, police and Ansar personnel came out in the morning to enforce the lockdown. He marked a three-foot space in front of grocery shops for maintaining personal distancing.
The UNO said he made the markings through several teams under his supervision.
A small number of people were seen moving in Bagura. All shops, hotels and restaurants except medicine shops were closed. Army personnel from the cantonment patrolled the town. They worked through an executive magistrate.
The 200-bed Bogura Mohammad Ali Hospital has been kept ready to treat coronavirus patients.
Doctor Shafiqul Amin, a resident medical officer at the hospital, said the entire hospital was emptied on Tuesday by shifting more than 100 patients to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital. Dr Mustafizur Rahman, deputy civil surgeon in Bagura, said they have not yet found any symptoms of coronavirus on 489 people, who are now in home quarantine.
Public gatherings in Cox's Bazar defying instruction of social distancing
Many people were seen roaming in groups and chitchatting at tea stalls in Cox's Bazar disobeying the district administration's instruction of social distancing.
There was no public transport but Tom-toms, CNG-run auto-rickshaws and Mahindra plied different roads in total defiance of the ban.
The district administration said if anyone goes out of home with no health safety or without a reason will face a fine. People will also be penalised for roaming around and chitchatting in groups.
Police and army men patrolled the district town from the morning on Thursday, said Additional Superintendent of Police Md Iqbal Hossain.
They set up 14 check-posts across the district where 280 members of traffic police will work in two shifts, he added.
Medicine crisis in Barishal
The entire Barishal district sported almost a deserted look on Thursday. All the shops were shut.
There was a shortage of different types of drugs such as paracetamol, antihistamine, vitamin-C, azithromycin, although medicine shops were open.
Besides, stocks of masks, hand gloves and sanitisers ran out all of sudden. The shortage had begun a few days ago.
Pharmacy owners claimed the shortage of medicine arose owing to a shortage of supply against a huge demand.
The sales they witnessed in the last four days were more than in the last four months.
A section of drug sellers are trying to get extra profit by creating an artificial crisis and selling drugs without prescriptions, said relevant sources.
District Civil Surgeon Dr Monowar Hossain said buying and selling of antibiotics and pain killer are prohibited. But neither drug sellers nor patients comply with it.
"It is our responsibility to ensure the logical and safe use of medicine," he added.
Army personnel supply food to people in home quarantine
Army men in Rangamati distributed food and masks to people in home quarantine on Thursday.
They also provided common people with 2000 masks to prevent the virus infection.
People in Khulna have also been preferring to stay home with a necessity for the last few days. Most shops were closed except kitchen markets. The civic life of city people has come to a halt amid coronavirus fears as no one person has tested positive yet.
Army personnel along with other law enforcing agencies also patrolled in Sylhet, Rangpur, Rajshahi and Mymensingh, Satkhira, Brahmanbaria and Netrakona on Thursday.
Dhaka wears a deserted look
Dhaka wore a deserted look on the first day. Roads Shops remained closed.
No public transport was seen on roads. Only a few private cars and motorbikes were seen to plying roads. There was also a thin presence of rickshaws.
Kitchen markets remained almost empty with hardly any customers. Only a few customers also thronged medicine shops.