Peoples are leaving Dhaka

Sunbd Desk || Published: 2020-03-18 09:22:04 || Updated: 2020-03-18 09:22:04

The peoples of Rajdhani Amid growing concern over the novel coronavirus, a huge number of people, mostly students, are leaving Dhaka as the government on Monday announced all educational institutions closed from March 17 to 31.

sevarel Bus terminals and railway stations were crowded with homebound people on Monday afternoon and yesterday. The rush is expected to continue for one or two more days.

Two new individuals were diagnosed with COVID-19 in Bangladesh yesterday, raising the current number of confirmed cases in the country to seven. However, three people who were infected previously have made full recoveries, officials said.

Although the transport sector, especially bus operators, is facing a decline in business across the country as the number of passengers have dropped to avoid crowds, bus and railway stations in Dhaka witnessed different scenes.

Tasin Ferdous, a college student, along with his sister left Dhaka from Kalyanpur Bus Terminal on Monday night, on a Hili-bound Hanif Paribahan bus.

“There was a big crowd there, and they charged Tk 50 more than the usual price, citing scarcity of tickets,” Tasin told The Daily Star yesterday.

Contacted, Mosharref Hossain, general manager of Hanif Paribahan, said the number of passengers increased after the government announcement of closing educational institutions.

Asked about the allegations of over-charging, Mosharref said, “It is not supposed to happen. If we find the allegation to be true, we will take action against staff [at the counter].”

Ramesh Chandra Ghosh, chairman of Bangladesh Bus Truck Owners’ Association, said a growing number of people may leave Dhaka for next one or two days.

Asked about their steps to prevent coronavirus infections, Romesh, also the managing director of Syamoli Paribahan, said they were providing passengers with hand sanitisers.

Abdus Sattar, general manager of Green Line Paribahan, said their flow of passengers had dropped 50 percent over the past one week. However, the number shot up on Monday.

“However, it would be difficult to operate buses if the coronavirus situation does not improve soon,” he added.

A staffer of Shimulia-Kathabari Ferry Terminal also said the number of private vehicles doubled since Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, a large number of passengers thronged the Kamalapur, Airport and Cantonment stations in Dhaka since last two days.

Maron Chandra Das, manager of airport railway station, said trains bound for northern districts witnessed relatively more crowd.

However, Sadarghat Launch Terminal witnessed normal crowd in last two days, said Shahid Ullah, deputy director of Bangladesh Inland Waterways Transport Authority, yesterday.

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