People coming out during lockdown in Wari

A 21-day lockdown in Wari began on Saturday morning
A 21-day lockdown in Wari began on Saturday morningMasum Ali

Lockdown began from 6am Saturday morning in Wari, Old Dhaka, but people have been coming out on all sorts of excuses. This is disrupting the lockdown. However, concerned persons of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) claim there are no loopholes in their lockdown.

Local people say that if the lockdown is so lax, it will not be effective in controlling the spread of coronavirus. They say the authorities must take a firm stance in imposing the lockdown.

The concerned DSCC persons say that they are allowing people to go out if they have any urgent errands. They are ensuring that no one misuses this opportunity.

Abul Hossain, a resident of Joginahar, left the lockdown area around noon, not giving any explanation when asked. He simply wrote down at the booth that he was going to Gulistan, with no other details.

According to DSCC, three roads and five lanes of Wari will be under lockdown till 25 July. The roads are Tipu Sultan Road, Joginagar Road and the Dhaka Sylhet highway from Jaikali Mandir to Baldha Garden. The lanes are Larmini Street, Hare Street, Ware Street, Rankin Street and Nawab Street. Over 200 persons have contracted coronavirus in these areas so far. The population of these areas exceeds 100,000.

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These areas are under the jurisdiction of Ward 41, Wari. On Friday afternoon bamboo barriers were put in place, blocking all entrances to the areas. Only the Uttara Bank road of Rankin Street and the road by Hot Cake in Ware Street can be used if necessary.

The lockdown began from 6am on Saturday, but people started to emerge from 10 in the morning. As the day went on, a crowd gathered near the Hot Cake shop and people were writing their names and addresses at the booth, with all sorts of excuses to leave the area. Many people left without being stopped at all.

Abul Hossain, a resident of Joginahar, left the lockdown area around noon, not giving any explanation when asked. He simply wrote down at the booth that he was going to Gulistan, with no other details.

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At 12:30 in the afternoon, the DSCC chief executive officer Shah Md Emdadul Huq went to inspect the lockdown at Wari and said that he saw no mismanagement.

Emdadul Huq said that they were very carefully ensuring the lockdown, but as it was just the first day, there would naturally be some slip-ups. He said there was e-commerce as well as van services to facilitate the people there. The waste management people were keeping the area clean.

The DSCC CEO said there were two physicians in the lockdown area and they had spoken to 46 coronavirus patients over cell phone from the morning till the afternoon. They had collected samples of five persons with coronavirus symptoms. A hospital was also prepared for institutional quarantine.