Locals in old Dhaka's Wari area are set to embrace a 21-day confined life as the area is entering a complete lockdown from Saturday morning.
The lockdown in Wari – marked as a novel coronavirus red zone – will begin from 6am with restrictions on movement, and it will continue until July 25.
Tipu Sultan Road, Jahangir Road, the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway (Joykali Temple to Balda Garden) and Larmini Road, Hare Road, Wari Road, Rankin Road, and Nawab Road of Dhaka South ward 41 will be under lockdown.
Bamboo-made barricades have already been placed on lanes and sub-lanes of the area. Banners with lockdown signs were put on the entrances.
The locked down area will have a 21-day general holiday with all offices in the area shut. All businesses, shops, markets, mosques and temples will remain shuttered – except pharmacies.
Police said they will only allow people with emergencies to go out once the lockdown is in effect. Otherwise, all kinds of movements in and out or within the area will be highly restricted.
Among the 16 entrances of the area, only two will remain open for emergency entry and exit. Apart from the police, the army will be patrolling to ensure movement restrictions.
"We have completed our preparations," local Ward Councilor Sarwar Hasan told The Business Standard Friday.
Sarwar said, "We have already set up the control room and a booth for collecting samples."
The ward councillor said they have also prepared to provide food for at least 1,000 residents. Additionally, a large volunteer team will be serving people to the maximum capacity.
Sarwar said they have announced the lockdown from the mosques through loudspeakers and distributed leaflets.
The ward councilor said a number of local businessmen of the area sought a "movement pass" so that they can continue their respective businesses amid the lockdown.
"But I had to turn them down," Sarwar added.
Earlier, authorities mapped Wari as a red zone with high density of novel coronavirus cases. Subsequently, Dhaka South moved to lock the area down with the go-ahead of the health directorate.
The Central Management Committee of Dhaka South City Corporation will supervise the implementation.
Previously on June 10, the East-Rajabazar area was put under lockdown on a pilot basis to curb the Covid-19 spread. After yielding "satisfactory outputs," the authorities lifted the restrictions partly on June 30.
Apart from the capital, lockdown is going on in 19 other districts with some of its parts marked as red zones.
The districts are: Cox's Bazar, Magura, Khulna, Habiganj, Faridpur, Manikganj, Brahmanbaria, Narsingdi, Kushtia, Chattogram, Bogura, Chuadanga, Moulvibajar, Narayanganj, Munsiganj, Cumilla, Jashore, and Madaripur.
As the authorities have failed to impose it properly in many districts, the measures seem to have fizzled out without yielding much.
In Bogura, the district administration locked down nine areas of the municipality as the infection rate spiked. However, The Business Standard district correspondent reported that people were roaming around almost freely owing to a lack of proper monitoring. Even the shops were open in red zones.
However, Bogura Assistant Commissioner ATM Kamrul Islam said, "Two monitoring teams are patrolling the areas and we take instant action if any lockdown violation is found."
In Chattogram, the lockdown was lifted after only 15 days instead of 21 days. Concerned authorities claimed since the infection rate came under control in 15 days, the lockdown was relaxed.