Movement in Lockdown: Six lakh passes issued in 5 days | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 19, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:11 AM, April 19, 2021

Movement in Lockdown: Six lakh passes issued in 5 days

Most applicants aged 21-40 yrs, police website gets 18.04 crore hits

In the five days after the movement pass was introduced by police to ensure a "strict lockdown", going to workplaces has been the most common reason for people availing the passes.

Till 6:00pm yesterday from 11:00am on April 13, around 6.01 lakh people have taken the movement passes to travel for emergency reason during the lockdown that started on April 14.

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During the time, around 18.04 crore visited

Of the passes, the highest 2.07 lakh has been issued for job purposes, according to the analysis of the Police Headquarters' Information and Communications Technology Division.

Around 70,000 passes have been issued for other purposes, including taking parents to hospitals and travelling from Chattogram to Dhaka to catch emergency flights.

The analysis report reads 49,000 movement passes were issued for treatment purpose, 15,000 for receiving Covid-19 vaccine, 14,000 for purchasing medicine and 4,000 for Covid test.

Around 49,000 people have taken passes for business purposes, it added.

In addition, 16,000 movement passes have been issued for going to kitchen market, 4,000 for agricultural work and 3,000 for wholesale and retail business, the PHQ data shows.

During this period, over 4,000 people have taken movement passes for funeral purpose, it added.

Interestingly, the database shows a person took the pass for holiday purpose.

Among the six lakh movement pass users, nearly 50 percent have taken the permission to use personal vehicles. Around 80 percent of the users are men and most are aged between 21 and 40, according to PHQ database.

Farhad Kabir, assistant superintendent of police of ICT of PHQ, who designed the application, told The Daily Star yesterday that they have to launch it in a very short period which is below 24 hours.

For this reason, some difficulties were found accessing the app primarily due to huge hit, he said.

But in the last couple of days, the officials have redesigned the application and included some new features like registration, application for pass and collection of pass separately, he said.

"It will be more user friendly and will help people apply smoothly," said Farhad.

The police official said they are also introducing a verification process in the newly designed app, which is hopefully launched today.

He said now an applicant is given the pass without any type of verification.

But in the newly redesigned app, a user has to go through a small verification to check whether the person is misusing the pass, he said.

For example, Farhad said a person seeks 10 hours to go to kitchen market which is not supposed to take. "We are removing these loopholes from the application," he said.

The police official, however, did not disclose how the verification process will be done as the redesigned system is still under process and needs permission from the higher officials.

Farhad further said they are also increasing the security tools in the newly designed application. For example, people from abroad will not be able to access the app and it will only be able to access from Bangladesh, he said.

The process will limit the user hit in the application and the real users will be able to get access smoothly, said Farhad.

Talking to this correspondent, on-duty police officials in the capital's different points, said some people were found misusing their movement passes.

Such as, a person was seen taking the pass to go to Moghbazar area from Mirpur to buy fish and another for going outside to repair fan, said officials.

It should need to be mentioned that Inspector General of Police Benazir Ahmed inaugurated the app on April 13 to ensure a strict lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19.

However, the people, who are involved in emergency services, does not need to take any pass.

The emergency services include hospital, bank, media, production units, garment factories, utility, internet, postal, government service, law enforcement, fire service and port management, according to police headquarters.



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