Hundreds of cars on roads, traffic congestion at the key points of Dhaka city and slack measures to lockdown imposition marked the ninth day of the ongoing "strict" lockdown across the country.
With more and more people coming out of home, Dhaka streets and main roads witnessed a traffic flow of a regular day, minus the public buses.
Law enforcers were apparently reluctant too to stop the vehicles and check the commuters if they had a movement pass – a special police permission for emergency movement amid the stay-at-home order in place.
"We only checked people who seemed suspicious. If we stop every vehicle and check, the traffic rush would turn into a complete chaos," said Golam Mostafa, a traffic sergeant at Shahbag zone.
He claimed police were trying to check as many people as they could and took legal actions against the movement restriction violators.
However, people who came out of their home Thursday said otherwise.
Quader Muhammad Helal, a businessman and Mirpur resident managed a police movement pass to go to Banani from Mirpur Thursday.
He went to Banani and returned home before evening. "I did not find any police checkpoints. None wanted to see my pass too. Rather I saw traffic congestion at Banani and some other points," he added.
Another commuter Uzzwal Hossain Thursday found the city and traffic indifferent compared to regular time.
He said he went out of his Old Dhaka home as he heard that the lockdown had relaxed.
"I reached Shahbagh intersection from my residence riding my bike without being stopped or checked even for once," he added.
In the meantime, the number of people who came out for Covid-19 test was higher than the previous days during the movement curbs. Three long queues to the sample collection booths of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) set up at Shahbagh Betar Bhaban premises reached the main road in the morning.
Markets and shopping malls in the capital were still shuttered Thursday.
Meanwhile, a number of rickshaw pullers said they were facing fines and harassment by mobile courts and police.
"While all the cars are on the road, only we are being stopped and harassed at the checkpoints," said Amzad Hossain, a rickshaw puller at Gulshan.
"Police and mobile courts are seizing the rickshaws and keeping those overturned for hours. Sometimes they fine us more than our daily income, which is inhumane," Amzad added.
When contacted, several executive magistrates and police officials, all of them declined to make any comment on this.
The movement curbs – widely known as lockdown – were imposed on 5 April and have been extended as the virus took a dangerous turn. Public health experts suggest the lockdown yields positive outputs as the infection rate has declined slightly in the last couple of days.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said they arrested an individual at Mohammadpur bus stand for carrying heroin in a private car. The arrestee Sawmik Ahmed Siddique had a movement pass which was applied and approved for face mask and hand sanitizer delivery.
RAB members recovered 320gm of heroin from his possession and seized the car.
During primary interrogation, Sawmik told RAB that he had been buying drugs from different areas and supplying those to his clients in Dhaka, the RAB official said.