Eid shopping rush at Dhaka malls
Crowds at shopping centres and malls have increased sharply, just a day after the government allowed shops and malls to reopen their doors ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Visiting some major shopping malls and markets in Dhaka -- like New Market, Chandni Chawk, Gausia, Noor Mansion, Chandrima Super Market, and Bashundhara City Mall -- today, this correspondent found customers pouring into the shops from 10:00 am. At most shopping centres, maintaining health safety is a big challenge due to the heavy rush of customers.
This correspondent found that only a few health safety guidelines were maintained in the markets.
Many shop owners and customers were seen with their masks down.
At entry points of some markets, antiseptic mix was sprayed instead of sanitisers. Besides, there was not enough space inside most of the shops to maintain physical distancing.
Heavy traffic congestion was seen in front of New Market and Bashundhara City Mall.
In comparison to yesterday, the number of customers increased, said the shop owners at New Market and Noor Mansion. They think that the crowds will get bigger once public transport resumes.
People were seen traveling in private cars, rickshaws, three-wheelers, and even pickup trucks.
Meanwhile, a significant rise in the public and vehicular movement was seen on the roads for the last two days, with heavy traffic congestion in some areas of Dhaka.
In a circular on Friday, the government allowed shops and shopping malls to remain open from 10:00am, prompting many people to return to the capital.
Meanwhile, the closing time for businesses was extended from 5:00pm to 9:00pm.
The road transport minister also hinted that public transport may resume after April 28.
With Covid-19 cases continuing to rise alarmingly from mid-March, the government imposed a nationwide "lockdown" for one week from April 5.
Later, a week-long "stricter lockdown" was declared from April 14, which has been extended till April 28.