People are not being allowed to enter or leave Dhaka except for emergency, police said yesterday as countrywide shutdown imposed to slow down coronavirus transmission was extended until April 14.
"With exceptions to the emergency services, we are not allowing anybody to get into Dhaka or to leave Dhaka until further notification from the government," said a press release of Bangladesh Police yesterday.
"Bangladesh Police seeks cooperation of the respected citizens and all concerned for the proper implementation of the government directives and health instructions to this end," reads the release sent by Sohel Rana, assistant inspector general of police (media).
The decision came as a good number of people keep coming and leaving the capital although the government suspended operations of all modes of passenger services since March 26.
Besides, all government and private offices, except for those providing emergency services, remained closed since March 26 and it would remain in force until April 14.
The release said police had been working to ensure the implementation of social distancing and try to keep people at home as per the government instructions.
"Other than the emergency services as required for the smooth continuation of daily life of people, all individual and group movements are prohibited. We are working to ensure it," it read.
Meanwhile, the government yesterday extended the ongoing shutdown until April 14 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, according to
a public administration ministry circular.
Earlier, the government announced closure of all public and private offices from March 26 to April 4 which was later extended until April 11.
However, utility services such as water, electricity, gas, telephone, and internet will be operational during the shutdown.
Transportation of agri products, fertiliser, insecticides, newspapers, food, goods, medical equipment, and daily essentials will be outside the purview of the suspension.
Besides, kitchen markets, restaurants, drugstores, and hospitals will also remain open, the circular added.
Offices can be opened in case of urgent need, and pharmaceuticals and export-oriented mills and factories will remain open if necessary.
The Supreme Court is going to issue a notification today extending holidays at all the courts until April 14, sources at the SC told The Daily Star.
All educational institutions will also remain closed until April 14, said an education ministry top official. On March 16, the government shut down all educational institutions from March 17 to 31 and later extended it until April 9.
In another development, the government yesterday stretched the ongoing suspension of air communications with all European and 16 other countries until April 14.
The 16 countries are: Bahrain, Bhutan, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, and the UK.
Flights on all domestic routes will also be suspended until further notice, said Mohibul Haque, senior secretary of civil aviation and tourism ministry.
However, air communications with China as well as the special and scheduled cargo flight operations will be continuing.
Mokabbir Hossain, Biman managing director and CEO, yesterday said the national flag carrier would continue the suspension of its flight operations on all the 17 international routes as well as on domestic routes until April 14 in line with the government decision.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) yesterday directed its field offices to take necessary steps for stopping carrying of passengers on goods-laden vehicles, defying the government ban.
A letter was sent to its all assistant directors across the country, Lokman Hossain Mollah, director (engineering) of BRTA, told this newspaper.
The government has suspended operations of all public transport until April 11 to slow down the spread of coronavirus in the country and banned carrying of passengers on goods-laden vehicles, reads the letter.
But it was seen that some goods-laden vehicles were carrying passengers, which is a punishable offence, it added.
"In this situation, you [assistant directors] are requested to take steps in consultation with the district administrations and police to stop the carrying of passengers on goods-laden vehicles," it added.