A large number of people yesterday ventured outside in the capital, bypassing the stay-at-home order, when a shutdown is still in force to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic.
The presence of people in streets, markets, banks and elsewhere all over the city is growing every day.
A considerable number of rickshaws, private cars and other vehicles were seen plying the city roads.
No doubt, some people had reasons – including buying medicines, groceries and attending offices at banks and other essential services while many others got out of their homes without a reasonable cause.
People, particularly youths, hanged around in alleys and lanes and wandered in streets aimlessly in their neighborhoods across the capital, knowing that there was risk of Covid-19 infections.
A private car was roaming around in an area. When asked about the reason, the driver said they must start the vehicle after a certain time, otherwise the battery would be down.
He sped away when asked about the reason of his not wearing a facemask.
Although Bashabo is one of the city's major coronavirus-affected areas, people were seen roaming freely there. Kitchen markets in the area were also found crowded.
A very surprising case was seen in Malibagh. A group of more than 100 people were sitting in a place without any safety measures.
Asked about the reason, a woman named Hasina said, "From the very first day of lockdown, we were sitting here for relief. So, it is nothing new."
Such crowds, mostly of lower-income people, were also spotted in several other areas in the city – including Bangla Motors, Farmgate, Mohakhali, Mogbazar and Rampura.
They told the reporter that they were waiting for relief.
However, a number of people were seen walking in roads aimlessly in those areas. It seemed they were not concerned about the risk of deadly virus.
Most of them wore facemasks and hand gloves. Talking to the journalist, they said they got out of their homes to buy daily essentials from the nearby markets or collect medicines from drugstores.
Experts have warned that the situation may worsen if the shutdown is not enforced effectively. The police and the administration need to go tough to ensure social distancing.
It seemed that law enforcers were not very much active yesterday.
Mofiz Uddin Ahmed, assistant commissioner (Traffic) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said, "Only emergency goods-laden vehicles – including goods of readymade garments factories, foods, medicines and medical equipment – are allowed. But a good number of other vehicles are also getting on to roads."
"We are not allowing people to get out of their homes. If anyone does it, we push them back," he said.
"But we cannot always find them with our limited manpower," he added.