Coronavirus infection was detected in the country about 13 months ago. Then the government quickly declared a general holiday to deal with the situation. The holiday, which began on March 26 last year, lasted for seven days. After a year, the government has to take a similar decision again to deal with the infection situation. As a final step in controlling the infection, lockdown is starting across the country from 6 am on Monday for a week.
At this time people’s work and movement will be strictly under control. Almost everything will be closed except emergency services. No public transport will run. Aircraft will not fly inland.
However, even during the lockdown, a limited number of offices are open for emergency work. In this case, the government has asked each organization to bring its employees to the office in its own way. Similarly, industrial and construction work can be continued on the condition of bringing and taking workers. The Cabinet Division issued a notification on Sunday imposing various restrictions. However, the word lockdown was not used in the notification. However, in Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called the seven days of the general holiday “lockdown”.
A total of 11 instructions have been mentioned in the notification of the cabinet department. District and field administrations across the country will take effective steps to implement these guidelines. For this, the law enforcement forces will intensify regular patrols. The notification said that strict action will be taken against those who disobey the instructions. Last year, the armed forces were deployed to assist the civilian administration in dealing with the transition situation during the general holiday.
Seven-day lockdown to deal with infection
This time, there is some ambiguity in the instructions given by the cabinet department in the notification. It is not clear whether people will be able to go to his workplace (private institution) in a private car. Although the non-government organizations are talking about their own transport system to bring and take their required staff, there is no guidance on how to do it. The Ministry of Culture has announced to keep ‘Amar Ekushey Book Fair’ on lockdown. But it was not said how people would go to the book fair if public transport was stopped.
In this regard, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain told Prothom Alo that necessary steps will be taken after discussing the issues in the cabinet meeting on Monday (today). The notification may be revised again if necessary. Regarding the fact that the media is not mentioned in the notification in the emergency services, he said that the media is always included in the emergency services. Media vehicles will be outside the scope of the ban.
However, traders and employees of New Market and Bashundhara Shopping Mall staged a protest in the capital yesterday against the lockdown and demanded that the shops be kept open. The road was blocked for two hours in New Market area and about one hour in Panthapath area.
And before the lockdown started, thousands of people left Dhaka by bus, launch and train yesterday. When people left Dhaka, the issue of observing hygiene in public transport was neglected. There was no social distance as there was a huge crowd at the terminal.
Which is closed, which is open
A notification has been issued by the Cabinet Division stating that subject to conditions, a ban has been imposed on the overall activities and movement from 8 am on Monday to 12 noon on April 11. All types of public transport (road, rail, sea, domestic flights) will be closed at this time. However, this order will not be applicable in case of transportation of goods, production system and emergency services. The ban will also not apply to expatriates and people from abroad.
However, the notification did not mention whether there would be any obstruction if a relative came from abroad or took a car to the airport while going abroad.
Notification of law enforcement and emergency services such as relief distribution, healthcare, electricity, water, gas or fuel, fire service, activities of ports (land ports, river ports and seaports), telephone and internet, postal services and other essential and essential goods and services related offices and their staff. And vehicles will be outside the scope of the ban.
The order said that all government, semi-government, autonomous offices and courts and private offices will be able to bring the required manpower for emergency work only in a limited range of manpower in their own transport management offices. Factories and construction work will also continue. Industrial workers have to be brought and taken under their own transport management. BGMEA and BKMEA workers need to set up ‘field hospitals’ or treatment facilities in industrial areas.
The Armed Forces Department will also take necessary steps to set up a ‘Field Hospital’ at a convenient place in Dhaka.
From 6 pm to 6 am, one should not go out of the house in any way except for urgent work (buying medicines, daily necessities, medical services, burial or burial of corpses, etc.). Only food can be sold and supplied in food shops and hotels-restaurants. Under no circumstances can you eat sitting in a hotel-restaurant.
Other stores, including shopping malls, will remain closed. However, wholesale and retail products can be bought and sold online. However, in this case, the employees must follow the hygiene rules and no buyer can go physically.
According to the government order, raw materials and daily necessities can be traded in open space from 8 am to 4 pm in compliance with hygiene rules. The banking system will continue to operate to a limited extent.
Bangladesh Bank has informed that according to the new time, banking transactions should be done from 10 am to 12 noon