Shop owners and employees demonstrate in front of Bashundhara Shopping Mall in the capital on Wednesday demanding immediate reopening of their businesses. -Zahidul Islam/AA
The 7-day nationwide lockdown had practically no effect among the people with buses returning to the streets on Wednesday, making it difficult to contain Covid-19 cases as experts warned that unless health rules are strictly followed there is a possibility of a health crisis.Shop owners and employees across the country have been demonstrating against the lockdown. In Dhaka's New Market, the demonstrators turned violent vandalizing vehicles.
After the lockdown was announced, thousands of people left Dhaka and major cities for their village homes posing a serious risk of spreading the deadly virus. A major problem has been a total indifference to abide by the laid down health rules by the people across Bangladesh and law enforcers looked the other way instead of reprimanding the violators.
Many vegetable markets did business as usual and private cars were out in force along with rickshaws and auto-rickshaws. It appears that people have chosen livelihood rather than life! Terming the lockdown 'contradictory', Professor Dr AB Abdullah, the personal physician of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, told the Asian Age, "How the lockdown will be successful where all offices are open, transportation has resumed and people's movement isn't restricted."
'The lockdown has been announced without any plan and preparation. People have left Dhaka like Eid holidays carrying the virus to the villages. As a result, the whole country is now in Covid danger," said the Ekushey Award winning physician.Dr Abdullah stressed on strict enforcement of health directives and making people ensuring people wore face masks, washed their hands and maintained physical distance.
Professor Abdul Hamid of Dhaka University's Health Economics Institute added that "Such a decision is totally contradictory as lockdown cannot be enforced keeping some operations normal and some closed. If everything remained shut, people would have complied with the lockdown rules without giving excuses."Experts have also said unless the people followed rules for the safety of their own and their families, no government effort can work to contain the virus.Over the past weeks the country saw record number of new cases and deaths after the second wave of the deadly Covid-19 gripped Bangladesh.
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