Social distancing defied in Bangladesh districts

Despite an official call to the countrymen to stay at home and maintain social distancing during the lockdown, people at various places in the districts are not following any restrictive norms for containing coronavirus (COVID-19) spread.

The working class people in the districts said that they were compelled to come out of their homes as they had no food at home and they did not get any government assistance while the administration and the law enforcement agencies had been asking people to remain at home.

Reports received from Jashore, Lalmonirhat, Satkhira, Feni, Lakshmipur, Patuakhali, Cumilla, Manikganj and Kushtia said that the presence of people on the roads were thin as all the shops, barring grocer’s and medicine, remained closed and government officials, political parties as well as different organisations and rich people had been distributing food items among the poor, though they were too little to meet the demand.

In Feni, the presence of people on roads had increased on Tuesday while buyers were seen buying goods from TCB’s truck-sale at Trank Road without maintaining the rules of social distancing. Same was observed at Bara Bazaar and Rail Gate Bazaar.

People were seen gathering in front of tea stalls and small shops at different places of the district town.

In Satkhira, deputy commissioner SM Mostafa Kamal, accompanied by army personnel, was seen asking people to stay at home using public announcement system.

He said that the government was providing food for the working class people.

He later distributed food relief among over 50 destitute families.

In Patuakhali district town, construction worker Md Awal of Coast Guard Camp area, laundry shop worker Anil Dash of Shre-e-Bangla Road, and mechanic Robi at Sadar Road told New Age that they were jobless for the past six days and were now compelled to come out as they had no food in their homes. They said that they were yet to get any assistance from anyone.

Patuakhali DC Md Motiul Islam Chowdhury said that they were preparing a list to assist the government.

New Age correspondent in Jashore reported that district superintendent of police Muhammad Ashraf Hossain, Journalist Mir Moin Hossain Musa and Swechchashebak Dal separately distributed food items among the poor of the district.

In Lakshmipur, district administration officials said about 4,500 expatriates came back to the district in the past three weeks and most of them still remained untraced.

Besides, a huge number of people who work at jobs elsewhere in the country returned home, increasing the risk of coronavirus spread in the district.

Though the town as well as the markets at upazilas remained almost empty, gatherings at village tea stalls have increased, especially in the evening.

Schoolteacher Belayet Hossain said that farmers and agricultural workers were hit hard as their produces were not sold and even the milk price was halved. (Source: New Age)

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