Dhaka, Bangladesh
Corona mapping, localised lockdown begins

Corona mapping, localised lockdown begins

C'Bazar comes first, Dhaka zoning also done

News Report: Now begins area-based lockdown in corona red zones, beginning with Cox's Bazar, and will be implemented in the capital from today as the rising virus incidence may peak in two weeks. State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain Saturday spoke about the containment measure and modalities for execution. Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said Wari and Rajabazar neighbourhoods in the capital have come under the red zone. However, the areas will be locked down on an "experimental basis", says Additional Secretary Habibur Rahman Khan of the Health Services Division. "Lockdowns are likely to be enforced from Sunday," said Khan, the convenor of government's Covid-19 media cell, on Saturday. He said, "On the basis of hotspot in terms of corona-infection rate, we will place locality or ward under lockdown. At the beginning, we will go for lockdown in the capital on a limited scale. The reason is that most of the patients are now in Dhaka. Later, we will enforce lockdown in other districts or areas considering the situation of corona." Khan said that they had already decided to completely lock down red zones - areas with high infections, which means 30 to 40 infections per 100,000 people. "Wari and Razabazar will be completely locked down on an experimental basis as part of that," he said. No one can leave their homes as well as no one will be allowed to enter the neighbourhoods flagged in red, said the senior public servant. Police, however, say they are yet to receive any order. "Discussions are on to impose a lockdown in Razabazar, but no official order has been issued," Deputy Commissioner Biplob Bijoy Talukder of Dhaka metro police's Tejgaon Division told The News Today. Assistant Commissioner Hannanul Islam of the Wari Zone also said they were yet to receive an order. "We are working on finalising the zoning wise lockdown plan which will be implemented across Bangladesh. We are expecting to go for implementation by next week," the State Minister for Public Administration, Farhad Hossain, told journalists. "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is regularly providing her guidance on its implementation. Once finalised, she will decide when to start," he added. Initially, Chittagong, Gazipur and Narayanganj are under red zone with capital Dhaka, said Farhad. "We are currently working on mapping, and other issues like how economic activities will be maintained in the areas, how offices will be opened, and how the public transports will be operated in those zoned areas, etc," he added. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said they will assist the local administration and police in implementing the lockdown plan. Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam said they are having meetings with stakeholders concerned with the implementation of the zone-wise lockdown plan. Agriculture minister Dr Abdur Razzak said, "We have to run in an uncertain situation. We will observe the situation next 10-15 days and will take decision considering the actual condition". The government may declare general holiday again if the coronavirus situation worsens across the country, some senior ministers said, seeking anonymity. They said that the government will closely observe the situation till June 15 to take the decision. The public administration ministry has asked officers and employees not to come to offices from coronavirus -infected areas considered as 'red zone'. With the increasing number of coronavirus infections in Cox's Bazar, few areas including the municipal town have been labelled as red zones. Md Kamal Hossain, deputy commissioner of Cox's Bazar, declared a lockdown in those areas for 14 days starting Saturday. The decision was taken at a videoconference with the additional deputy commissioner and coronavirus related working committee's Convenor Md Ashraful Afsar. It was informed in the conference that Cox's Bazar has been divided into three zones depending on the number of Covid-19- infected people. A map has been created with ward-wise distribution of infected patients in four municipalities and union-wise distribution in eight upazilas. These areas will be under lockdown from June 6 to June 19. The duration would be increased, if necessary. There will be 30 volunteers in each ward of the Cox's Bazar municipality who will be given identity cards by Cox's Bazar Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mahmud Ullah Maruf. No one other than the volunteers and emergency workers will be allowed to come out of their houses. Strict actions will be taken against anyone found outside. All the markets, shopping malls and stores will remain closed. Banks in the district town will also remain open for a limited time on Sundays and Thursdays. No vehicles can enter the city from the link roads, nor can they enter the central bus terminal of the city. Vehicles will start from the link roads and also end their journey there.

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