by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka;
Tens of thousands of people have come out of their homes either to travel for their villages or to return to work after a two-week strict lockdown was lifted to facilitate business and people’s movement ahead of the Muslim religious festival of Eid-al-Adha.
People are seen crowded on bus stops, ferry terminals and train stations on Thursday as the operation of all public transport resumes after midnight Wednesday, posing a threat to rise the number of novel coronavirus infections.
The South Asian country lifted the lockdown at a time when it was reporting more than 11,000 daily caseloads and over 200 daily deaths for nearly a week. Public health experts expressed concern over the relaxation of the restrictions ahead of the Eid, when people will have chances to get infected because of the crowds.
The government on Tuesday decided to relax the restrictions for more than a week to facilitate businesses and people’s movement ahead of the festival.
The restriction was lifted considering the overall socio-economic condition and to keep the wheel of economy running, an official notice said urging people to maintain health guidelines and physical distancing during the period.
The nationwide shutdown, however, will be re-imposed from July 23 for two weeks shutting offices, factories, malls and transportation as the virus caseloads were surging alarmingly.
Bangladesh logged the highest daily virus caseload of 13,768 and 220 deaths on Monday with most of the hospitals struggling to cope with the patients.
Earlier on July 1, the government enforced strict lockdown initially for a week after the previously imposed shutdowns were imposed loosely causing surge in the number of virus cases and deaths. The arrival of rapid transmissible Delta variant also worsened the situation last month.
Mills and factories, which are allowed conditional operations under the current spell of the shutdown, will be remained shut during the post-eid shutdown period.
Army troopers were deployed in aid to civil administration to restrict people’s movement during the previously imposed shutdown, which was eventually extended until the midnight of Wednesday (July 14).
Bangladesh so far reported 1,060,538 cases and 17,052 deaths since the virus was emerged in March last year.