Golam Mostafa was bitten by a dog in the capital's Basabo area on Wednesday night, but he could not come out of the area for treatment immediately because of the lockdown. On Thursday morning Mostafa went first to Mohakhali and then to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), but he did not receive treatment as there was a shortage of medical staffers in the emergency department there.
"I hoped that I would get treatment for my wounds at the DMCH. I have already paid Tk700 rickshaw fare to get from Basabo to Mohakhali and from Mohakhali to the DMCH. Now I have to go to another hospital as I have been refused," said Mostofa, crying due to pain.
Numerous people, including patients and office goers, suffered similar problems on the second day of the strict lockdown. Rickshaw was the main means of movement amid the strict lockdown for people who did not have private cars or motorcycles, but the rickshaw pullers complained that police harassed them severely on the roads.
Abdul Matin, a resident of the capital's Begunbari area, took his father to the National Heart Foundation in Mirpur for treatment yesterday. When they were returning home by rickshaw, police stopped them at Farmgate checkpoint and asked them to get down.
"When we repeatedly told the police officer that my father was sick and pleaded with him to allow us to take the rickshaw, he refused to do so as there is a strict lockdown in effect," said Matin.
Matin had to cross the foot-over bridge at Farmgate to go home, so he and his brother carried their father on their shoulders.
He said, "Those who have private cars and bikes have no problem in moving as much as we have. Persecution of common people is going on in the name of lockdown in the country. We cannot even talk about it."
Mohammad Shohagh, 34, an ambulance driver, in front of the DMCH said usually around 200-300 patients came to the hospital for emergency treatment per day.
"However, the number of patients coming to the DMCH dropped to 50-60 per day, since the lockdown started," said Shohagh.
A doctor of the DMCH Emergency department also told TBS that fewer patients came to the hospital in the first two days of countrywide lockdown.
Meanwhile, Dhaka witnessed an increased flow of traffic at different intersections and roads on the second day of the lockdown compared to the first day.
The Traffic Division of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, as well as the commuters, said there were more vehicles on the road on Thursday as the banks and factories were open following the holiday on the first day of the Bengali new year.
"The influx of vehicles here today is almost 3-4 times higher than that of yesterday," Shamsul Islam, assistant commissioner of the DMP's Mohakhali traffic zone, told The Business Standard.
Visiting several spots, The Business Standard correspondents witnessed that traffic gridlocks were created at checkpoints in some areas as police were inquiring about people's purpose of getting outside.
The police checkpoint on the airport road was seen stopping almost every car to inquire about movement purpose, subsequently increasing the congestion.
Another similar checkpoint in front of Kurmitola General Hospital caused the traffic to slow down and created a tailback in the area.
However, some commuters said police were interrogating about their purposes of movement, but they rarely sought the government issued passes.
"The lockdown restrictions are being implemented loosely today. There are lots of people on the streets so the police are inquiring less. I did not see anyone asking for a pass," said Mahbub Alam Shoyeb, one of the commuters stranded in Pragati Sarani.
A huge tailback also formed in front of the Bangladesh Shooting Federation building leading all the way to the Police Plaza bridge for police checking and verifying commuters.
"People who cannot show a valid reason for coming outside are not being allowed to pass the check post," said one of the officials working there.
Traffic gridlocks were also observed at Pragati Sarani, Badda, Gulshan, Karwanbazar and Bijoy Sarani areas.
Seeking anonymity, a traffic police official said the number of people neglecting the lockdown has increased compared to yesterday because a number of factories and banks are still open.
Meanwhile, rickshaw pullers said police were harassing, and sometimes beating, them in the name of implementing the lockdown measures.
Md Amir Hossain, 25, a rickshaw puller said, "Whenever they find an empty rickshaw, they turn it upside down to punish us. They upturned my rickshaw when they found it empty, but I dropped a patient in front of a hospital just before they saw me."
Another rickshaw puller, Rafiq Miah said, "Police have been harassing us as if we were not human beings, but they could not utter a word to the private car owners. They could only vent their anger on us."
Meanwhile, Traffic Police Sergeant Shafiul Alam Rajib, who was on duty at Farmgate, told TBS, "No one was allowed to pass except those who are in an emergency. We are letting patients go for humanitarian reasons."
"Besides, we are fining those who have come out unnecessarily and without taking passes. I have filed two cases from morning till 2pm. One of them was against a motorcyclist and another against a private car owner," he added.
Toffazzal Hossain, a banker who lives in Mirpur, said he paid around Tk600 as he hired a rickshaw to go and come back from Motijheel office.
"I have been paying hundreds of taka extra due to the vehicle shortage. Moreover, the police also harass us at the check post. Then what is the need for opening banks?" he asked.
Yar Khan, a Saudi expatriate who returned to the country, told TBS he started from Narsingdi immediately after the Fajr prayer to get his ticket from the Saudi Airlines' office at the Sonargaon Hotel. He had to spend around six times the usual fare to get there, but police chased them away saying that the office was closed.
"I want to fly on 18 April, but I have not received any update about the ticket yet. My boss in Saudi Arabia says I will lose the job if I do not reach there within this month," he added.
More vehicles on Ctg streets on day two of lockdown
Roads in Chattogram were not as empty as they had been on the first day of the nationwide lockdown imposed to control the spread of Covid-19.
Even though public transport remained suspended, there were more rickshaws and private cars in the city's Bahaddarhat, Muradpur, Jamalkhan, Kazir Deuri, and Chawkbazaar areas. Some CNG-powered auto-rickshaws were also spotted.
Despite the strict measures taken by law enforcement agencies to ensure that everyone abides by the lockdown rules and regulations on the first day, some laxity was noticed yesterday. Curious people were also seen hanging around in the alleys.
However, in several other places around the city, law enforcement was actively controlling traffic and pedestrian movement. Rickshaws and CNG autorickshaws were stopped at police checkpoints in different areas.
Most of the roads in the city were barricaded and inaccessible.
However, despite the police directive on collecting "Movement Passes," there were no strict restrictions regarding the pass anywhere in Chattogram.
Rajibul Islam Raju, a shop owner in the DC Hill area of the city, spoke to The Business Standard about his commute on the second day of the lockdown.
"I reached Chawkbazar from Chandgaon by rickshaw spending Tk100 in the morning. When the police stopped the rickshaw near Ali Kha Masjid area, I walked the rest of the way to the shop."
Raju reported spotting comparatively more rickshaws on the streets on Thursday.