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Such was the morning rush that several areas of the city witnessed traffic congestion in the morning rush hours, giving commuters a harrowing time on the roads. However, the inter-district buses entering or exiting the city were fewer than pre-Covid days.

Besides, train and launch services also resumed operation across the country.

Abu Raihan Mohammad Saleh, joint commissioner (traffic, north) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said, “Traffic jams in some areas were due to the rise in the number of vehicles on the roads.”

Commuters experienced congestion between 8:00am and 10.30am in different areas of the city -- Technical point, Mirpur, Shyamoli, Asad Gate, Banani, Amtoli and Mohakhali intersections to name a few, Abu added.

On 8 August, the government decided to ease the ongoing nationwide lockdown restrictions, allowing shops, factories and offices to reopen from 11 August.

As per the guidelines, bus, train and river vessel are allowed to carry passengers in their full capacities.

However, in regard to road transport, local administrations (divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners) have been empowered to order 50 per cent of the public transport to operate every day, in consultation with the authorities concerned and law enforcement agencies.

Malls, markets and shops are allowed to remain open from 10:00am to 8:00pm following the health guidelines, while hotels and restaurants can stay open from 8:00am to 10:00pm keeping half their seats empty.

Besides, all the factories have been allowed to resume operations from 11 August.

As per the guidelines, the authorities concerned will be held responsible for any negligence in maintaining the health safety protocols in public transport, offices, markets, and legal action will be taken against violators.

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Monday said the strict lockdown restrictions have been relaxed for the sake of people’s lives and livelihoods, but could be re-imposed if the Covid situation worsens.

Bangladesh was put under “strict” lockdown on 23 July barring people from leaving their homes except for essential reasons. Scheduled to end on 5 August, it was later extended to 10 August.

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