Long-haul buses barred from Dhaka amid lockdown in nearby districts

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-06-22 11:24:24 BdST


Long haul buses are being denied entry to Dhaka city, as lockdowns have been imposed in seven nearby districts.

The sudden decision has led to heavy traffic congestion on roads leading to the city.

Russel Ahmed works at a semi-public institution in the capital and lives in Savar. He and some of his co-workers take a staff bus to Dhaka from Savar every morning. The bus encountered heavy traffic soon after it left around 7 am. There were already long lines of traffic on the roads leading to Dhaka. Many long haul buses could be seen in the rows of traffic ahead and behind the staff bus.

No passenger vehicles from the seven districts under lockdown are being allowed entry into the capital, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Iftekhar Ahmed told bdnews24.com.

Many people are posting on public pages regarding transport and traffic on social media site Facebook to complain of being stuck in traffic outside Dhaka.

In a notice on Monday, the Cabinet Division announced lockdowns in Manikganj, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Gazipur, Madaripur, Rajbari and Gopalganj.

“Everything will remain shut. People will not be able to move,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam had said. “All transports, except for trucks and ambulances, will be barred. Everything but the emergency services will be suspended.”

Similar COVID-19 curbs are currently in place in Satkhira, Bagerhat’s Mongla, Jashore Municipality, Abhaynagar, Benapole, Sharsha, Kushtia Sadar, Chuadanga’s Damurhuda Upazila, Magura, Rajshahi City Corporation, Natore Municipality and Singra and Bogura Municipality, according to Islam.

On Apr 14, Bangladesh tightened restrictions in what came to be known as the “strictest lockdown” in which people were barred from going outside, except for an emergency, in an effort to contain a massive spike in COVID cases.

The restrictions somewhat eased after the rate of infection dropped a bit in May. But with the spread of the Delta variant, infections and fatalities surged again in June.

Bangladesh on Monday registered 4,636 new coronavirus cases, the most in a day since Apr 14, raising the total caseload to 851,668.

Another 78 people died of the virus in the 24 hours to 8 am on Monday, increasing the total death toll to 13,626, according to the latest data released by the government.

Dhaka saw a surge in new cases, tallying 1,837 over the period, the most among the eight divisions. Khulna, a recent virus hotspot, saw 945 new cases, while Rajshahi registered 799.

Dhaka also led the number of deaths, with 23 in the division. Rajshahi saw 15 more deaths, Khulna 14 and Chattogram 11.