The entire Dhaka city wore a deserted look as all shops except medicine stores were shut down by 7pm on Tuesday in compliance with a directive of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
Visiting various parts and alleys in the capital in the evening, few people were seen on streets.
Members of law enforcement agencies were also strict in enforcing social distancing instructions, forcing people to stay indoors.
The DMP on Monday ordered the closure of recognised kitchen markets and super shops in the capital by 7pm while grocery stores and small shops of different areas by 2pm. However, medicine shops can remain open round the clock.
The decision was taken as part of the government's initiative to fully ensure social distancing to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
Police stations under the DMP conveyed the instructions in their respective areas and it came into force fully on Tuesday.
Despite repeated orders from the government, it was getting tough to ensure social distancing due to the reluctance of some city dwellers.
On March 23, the government decided to deploy members of the Armed Forces --Army, Navy and Air Force -- in aid to the civil power across the country to maintain social distancing and ensuring home-quarantine of overseas returnees.
However, many were reluctant to comply with the directives as they came out of their homes unnecessarily.
A huge number of people were gathering defying the guidelines on social distancing on the streets, kitchen markets. Although most of them were found wearing masks, they were also seen gathering in front of the shops without maintaining the required distance of 1 metre or so thought to be safe for preventing transmission of Covid-19, the illness caused by the virus.
DMP Deputy Commissioner (Uttara Crime Division) Nabid Kamal Shaibal told UNB that the number of people on streets was comparatively thin from Tuesday afternoon as all types of shops, except medicine stores, were closed by 2pm. “The number declined further when kitchen markets and superstores were shut down by 7pm,” he said.
Many city residents usually gather at tea stalls and groceries and as all of those were closed by 2pm, there was no place to gather for gossiping which forced them to stay indoors, he said.
Five more people died from coronavirus in Bangladesh, raising the death toll to 17.
Besides, 41 other people tested positive for Covid-19, taking the number of such cases in the country to 164.