More parts of the country went under lockdowns on Friday while arrivals from Dhaka and Narayanganj to other districts amid a countrywide shutdown fueled up the fear of a coronavirus explosion.
As of Friday, at least 30 districts went under complete or partial lockdown. Most of the regions reportedly have people who recently returned from Dhaka or Narayanganj – the epicentre of novel coronavirus in Bangladesh.
In the last 24 hours till Friday night, more than 10 Covid-19 clusters were detected in three areas of Dhaka, raising the reported cluster tally to 70 in the capital.
The newly detected virus clusters are in Nikunja, Niketon, Azimpur, Mirpur-10 and Shantinagar. Subsequently, those areas went under lockdown, putting the residents in fear of a food shortage.
Police said they were receiving hundreds of phone calls for food support every day.
"Now we need voluntary support and cooperation to ensure food supply to city dwellers," said Zulfikar Ali, assistant commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Khilgaon zone.
Tanveer Ahmed, a resident of Tolarbag – an area with Covid-19 deaths and a higher infection rate – said the uninterrupted food supply promised by authorities was not working.
Fauzia Tasnim, another dweller of the locked down area, said that e-shops were also cancelling food orders from Tolarbag.
Meanwhile, people from locked-down Narayanganj continued trying to flee from the industrial hub of the country at night by roads and waterways as the government on Friday extended the general holidays till April 25.
The Business Standard Tangail correspondent said the Dhaka-Tangail highway on Friday saw a rush of homebound people on goods-laden trucks from Narayanganj and Dhaka.
Narayanganj police seized a truck transporting nearly 40 people to another district on Thursday night.
"We have ramped up patrols to ensure nobody leaves the district," said Narayanganj Superintendent of Police Jayedul Alam.
More districts locked down
On Friday, Gaibandha, Patuakhali and Cumilla districts declared lockdowns after finding out that people from Narayanganj and Dhaka had sneaked in.
The northern district of Gaibandha was locked down on Friday afternoon.
Gaibandha Deputy Commissioner Abdul Matin said, "The district is still not too risky for coronavirus exposure. However, the shutdown has been announced in advance to keep the situation under control."
Meanwhile, the district's Fulchhari Upazila Nirbahi Officer Abu Raihan Dolon said that the 95 ready-made garment workers who arrived from Munshiganj and Narayanganj have been placed under institutional quarantine.
Dumki upazila of Patuakhali was shut down on Friday as an apparel worker who had returned from Narayanganj died on Thursday. The ready-made garment worker returned home on April 4 with breathing complications, cough, flu and a sore throat.
On information, the district health office collected medical samples of the worker and placed him under home quarantine.
He was buried following the World Health Organization protocols as his test report came positive for the virus on Thursday.
Cumilla also went under a lockdown on Friday. Cumilla Deputy Commissioner Md Abul Fazal Mir, also the head of the district coronavirus prevention committee, issued a public circular in this regard.
The circular further said that all kinds of public transport and gatherings are prohibited. Vehicular movement in and out of the district is not allowed.
However, emergency services are out of the purview of the lockdown. The Dhaka-Chattogram highway and other regional highways in the district are also not included in the lockdown.
People defy lockdown in Tangail, extortion in Cox's Bazar
Locals crowded on roads defying the lockdown which began from Tuesday in Tangail.
However, the local administration shifted the largest kitchen market of the district town to the Eid congregation field in a bid to help people maintain social distancing.
On Friday, several public transportations were found commuting in the district.
In the southeast coastal district of Cox's Bazar, the lockdown imposed from Wednesday prompted a chaotic situation as locals obstructed many roads and lanes in their neighbouring areas with tree logs and bamboo.
Those barricades were barring police and armed forces personnel from entering. Locals at the barricaded points were extorting from vehicles engaged in emergency services.
Iqbal Hossain, additional superintendent of police in Cox's Bazar, ordered the removal of the barriers.
He also said stern action would be taken against the extortionists.