by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka;
The government has decided to relax the nationwide lockdown to some extent by resuming public transports in major cities on the third-day of the seven-day shutdown, imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Road Transport and Bridge Minister Obaidul Qader made the announcement on Tuesday, the day Bangladesh reported the highest number of infections and deaths from the virus.
The government considered the commuters’ sufferings to resume the public buses to be plying on streets from 6am to 6pm every day maintaining health guidelines, the minister said.
The buses must ensure that the sitting arrangements are as per the government directives. The passengers must pay 60 per cent higher rent to ensure that the bus is half empty.
The long-haul buses, trains and river ferry services will remain closed.
In the face of surge in the number of daily covid-19 patients, the government on Saturday decided to impose the nationwide lockdown for seven days, keeping transportation and shopping malls shut.
But the small traders in Dhaka and elsewhere demonstrated asking the government to allow them to reopen their shops since mills, factories and many other private businesses were in operation on the first day.
One person was killed as the demonstration turned violent in the south-western district of Faridpur as the protesters set many public offices to fire and attacked a local police station.
Commuters, especially office goers suffered lot on the streets in absence of the public transports.
The transports will now be resumed in Dhaka, Chattogram, Narayanganj, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barishal, Sylhet, Rangpur, Gazipur, Cumilla and Mymensingh cities.