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Bangladesh - June 27, 2021

People rush to return home ahead of shutdown

Shimulia ghat under huge pressure

Munshiganj Correspondent: Two days ahead of the seven-day nationwide yesterday shutdown, thousands of people overcrowded the Shimulia ferry terminal in their frantic efforts to get back their village homes.
People were seen flocking the Shimulia-Banglabazar ferry ghat and crossing the river since morning ignoring health safety protocols.
All the 16 ferries are now operating to manage the huge rush of home-bound people.
Besides, many people gathered on the other side of the ferry terminal to return to Dhaka to get their emergency works done. Check-posts have been installed in many important points as the government earlier enforced restrictions to limit movement in the district. Launches, speedboats and trawlers were seen carrying passengers beyond their capacities.
The link road near platoon No 3 at the ghat has gone under water to rains, adding to the woes of passengers.
Mohammad Foysal, manager of Bangladesh Inland and Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), said, “All the ferries are operating now due to huge pressure of homebound people. A long queue of vehicles was also seen near the ghat for crossing the river.”
The government is going to enforce a new nationwide “strict lockdown” on Monday, as the country grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases and fatalities with the highly infectious Delta variant playing havoc.
The restrictions will remain in place for seven days, said Press Information Department Principal Information Officer Surath Kumar Sarker on Friday.

Government and private offices, barring those of emergency services, will remain shut during this period.

The National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 pandemic on Thursday recommended imposing a “nationwide shutdown” for two weeks considering the worsening Covid-19 situation in the country.

Community transmission of the highly transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus might be the reason behind the current Covid-19 situation in the country, said the committee.

It used the example of India to emphasise that no step other than a “complete shutdown” might be enough to prevent the spread of the Delta variant.

Bangladesh has seen a spike in coronavirus infections and fatalities in recent weeks, with the country reporting its second-highest fatalities – 108 new deaths – and 5,869 cases Friday. It has now seen 878,804 cases and 13,976 deaths.

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