Dhaka City bus services resume on day 3 of lockdown

Dhaka, Apr 7 :  The movement of city buses resumed on Wednesday, the 3rd day of the 7-day countrywide lockdown, as the government has allowed public transport services in city corporation areas.However, the movement of city buses in different areas of capital Dhaka was thin due to a small number of passengers.
“City buses started going back into operation on Wednesday morning but the number of buses is low. As the number of passengers is low, owners are operating a little number of buses,” said Joint Commissioner (Traffic North) Abu Saleh Sheikh Russel.
Traffic Inspector (Mohakhali) Asaduzzaman said “Buses have been moving since morning within city corporation areas but the number of buses and passengers are low. As the government has suspended the ride-sharing services, we’re filing cases against those found operating the services.”
“We’re also monitoring whether people are following health guidelines,” he said.
Talking to UNB, Ashrafuzzaman, manager of Alif Paribahan, said: “We’re operating 60 percent buses maintaining health protocols. Usually, 200 vehicles operate on four routes. As the number of passengers is poor and long-haul bus services have been suspended, we’re now operating 60 percent buses.”
But the resumption of bus services has apparently reduced the sufferings of office-goers and commuters in the capital.
Although Covid-19 cases and its fatalities reached a new high on Tuesday people are found largely reluctant about obeying health rules and lockdown restrictions.
However, experts said it will be difficult to contain coronavirus infections and deaths if a strict lockdown is not enforced as the situation is turning worse day by day.
Many patients are moving from one hospital to another for beds or oxygen support as most hospitals are occupied.
Private cars, rickshaws and auto-rickshaws, microbus and CNG-run auto-rickshaws and many ride-sharing services were seen plying the streets like the previous two days.
Shopping malls are closed as per the government instruction but shops were seen open in many areas.
The UNB correspondent found shops in lanes and by-lanes open despite the lockdown.
Resumption of transport services
In the wake of the sufferings of commuters, the government on Tuesday decided to allow public transport services to resume operations in city corporation areas from Wednesday during the lockdown.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader came up with the announcement saying public transport services will operate in Dhaka, Chattogram, Gazipur, Narayanganj, Cumilla, Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet, Barishal, Rangpur and Mymensigh city corporation areas between 6am and 6pm.
But they will have to leave half the seats empty, the minister said in a press statement.
Worrying situation of Covid-19
Bangladesh witnessed record-breaking daily Covid-19 fatalities and infections with 66 deaths and 7,213 cases during the past 24 hours till Tuesday morning amid the worsening coronavirus situation.
More than 7,000 new Coronavirus cases were recorded for the third consecutive day on Tuesday, according to a handout issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
With the new 66 deaths, the coronavirus fatalities rose to 9,384 while the mortality rate dropped slightly to 1.44 percent as it was 1.45 percent on Monday, reports UNB.