- Dhaka entry and exit points witnessed huge crowds on Wednesday too
- People from nearby districts entered the capital on foot
- Many came to the city from other districts on medical purposes
- Police only controlled long-haul buses as office-goers suffered the most
People from adjacent districts entered Dhaka on foot Wednesday though the capital was cut off from the rest of the country following the suspension of all inter-district transports to reign in the rising Covid-19 infections and deaths.
Like Tuesday, people from adjacent districts hopped out just before the checkpoints on the entry points, walked past those, and got on buses commuting inside the metropolis.
The picture was the same in Gabtoli, Tongi and Jatrabari – three major entry points of the capital.
Experts say if the movement curbs fail to stop the Dhaka-bound rush, it will be meaningless as the infection and death curves will further go up.
The health directorate also said if people do not comply with the virus safety guidelines and government-enforced curbs, the virus situation may slip out of control.
"The virus situation is worsening as the Indian strain of coronavirus spreads across the country. The positivity rate is on an alarming rise," said health directorate spokesperson Dr Robed Amin in a regular health bulletin Wednesday.
He urged the law enforcers to get tougher on forcing people to comply with the curbs.
Earlier on Monday, the government imposed restrictions on public and vehicular movement across Manikganj, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Gazipur, Madaripur, Rajbari and Gopalganj till 30 June, taking into account the deteriorating Covid situation in those districts.
Besides, most of the India-bordering districts were already under the movement curbs to check coronavirus resurgence believed to be caused by the Indian variant.
Dr M Mushtuq Husain, Adviser at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control & Research (IEDCR), said the infection resurgence hints at the third wave in Bangladesh.
He said the public transports in nearby districts of Dhaka have been suspended in an effort to break down the transmission circle. The curbs will only yield success if the restrictions are enforced properly.
"We must bring the positivity rates below 10% before the Eid-ul-Azha. Otherwise, the situation will go out of control," the told The Business Standard.
Police on Wednesday set up checkpoints in Dhaka's Gabtoli. All Dhaka-bound vehicles were being turned away from Amin Bazar bridge of the area.
But many people from southern and southwestern districts of the country were found entering the capital on foot. They hopped out from the vehicles before the bridge, walked past the checkpoints and took public buses commuting inside the metropolis.
People who do offices in Dhaka and live outside the capital were in severe trouble. Apart from the exhausting walks, they said the available public buses had been overcharging them.
Changing vehicles multiple times, Bazlur Rahman came to Amin Bazar from Faridpur Wednesday. He said he has a job viva in a private company.
"I had to suffer a lot due to the lockdown. It usually costs Tk300 to come to Dhaka by bus from Faridpur. But I already have spent Tk1,500 to reach Amin Bazar. Plus I had to walk too," he added.
Abdul Quddus came to his office at Dhaka's Bakshibazar by bus from Manikganj. He had to suffer due to the lockdown as his office was open. He rented a bike at Tk700 to come to the office, although the bus ride cost him only Tk80.
He said he also had to face police quizzing since there are no clear instructions for the employees who do offices in Dhaka.
Mohammad Nazrul Islam, Deputy Commissioner (Traffic, Mirpur Division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) told TBS that they were allowing emergency vehicles coming in and out.
The police official said they had to allow many others who said they were going to hospitals or offices.
In another development, fresh movement curbs were imposed in Thakurgaon, Akkelpur and Khetlal upazilas of Joypurhat and Naogaon. Besides, the locally enforced movement curbs have been extended for another seven days in Jashore and Naogaon.