The Financial Express

Traffic increases despite higher Covid deaths in Bangladesh

| Updated: April 23, 2021 17:40:27

A traffic congestion at Mahakhali in the city on Thursday — Focus Bangla A traffic congestion at Mahakhali in the city on Thursday — Focus Bangla

Despite a high Covid-19 fatality rate, people's movement continued to increase in the city even on the first day of the countrywide extended hard lockdown on Thursday

To contain faster spread of the coronavirus infections, the government has been enforcing countrywide lockdown since April 05. But frequent violation of the lockdown rules by the people forced the government to roll out a hard lockdown from April 14.

Only passenger buses and markets remained closed on the day while cars, rickshaws, motorbikes and CNG-run three wheelers were plying the city roads freely.

Lockdown was seen maintained to some extent on the key-roads but in a loose knot in the lanes and alleys as many people were out of home for different reasons.

Police at some places were also seen checking the movement passes of people travelling by cars, bikes and rickshaws at various points of the capital. But their activities were not as strict as it was in the first week of the hard lockdown.

On the other hand, a large number of people not following the Covid health protocols were seen gathering at tea stalls, restaurants and kitchen markets like other normal days violating the lockdown rules.

Even many people at some places were found not wearing the mask and moving in groups unnecessarily, which enhanced the risks of spreading the infections.

The FE correspondents found these scenes at various locations in the city, which was categorised as high-risk area by the special team of the government, on the day when the country saw 98 more people losing battle with the Covid-19.

According to the state-run Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 4014 more people were infected following dedicated medical screening of 27429 samples in the 24 hours that ended on Thursday morning.

However, the daily positivity rate dropped to 14.63 per cent.

"With the latest statistics, the total number of infections and fatalities rose to 736074 and 10781 respectively," the bulletin stated.

In terms of recovery, 7266 more patients recovered from the highly infectious respiratory disease and the numbers took the recovery tally to 642,449. The entire recovery rate was 87.28 per cent.

However, the kitchen markets witnessed some crowds in the morning but much lesser than that of the normal days.

Abdul Malek, who sells kitchen items at Rampura kitchen market, said people's movement continued to rise in the markets and on roads nearby, which is good as far as the business is concerned.

"But the most scary part is most people are not following Covid health protocols. The apathy might put them in serious danger," he added.

However, no passenger bus, train and vessel were seen travelling from the early morning because of the lockdown.

Bangladesh may agree to a Chinese proposal for creating a network of "emergency Covid vaccine storage facility for South Asia".

"China has also proposed some other countries like Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bhutan to create the storage facility," foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters at his residence on Thursday.

He added that Bangladesh in principle see no problem to join this network.

The minister said that two health ministries of Russia and Bangladesh also agreed in principle on a proposal of vaccine co-production in Bangladesh.

"We're on the same page. Our health ministry knows the details. Things will be finalised by the health ministry," he said.

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