All transport open
Social distancing ditched
All transports including road, water and rail have started running like the pre-Covid days ignoring health guidelines including social distancing to prevent transmission of the deadly virus. As a result, the risk of infection among the population is increasing day by day.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) allowed buses to carry passengers according to the seat capacity of the buses from September 1 following the appeal of Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association (BRTOA).
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Railway resumed its operation by carrying passengers at full capacity from September 16 although social distancing rules were not followed ever in the waterways transports.
Though, the government allowed transports to run in a limited scale following health guidelines during the countrywide post-lockdown period.
In early May, the Directorate General of Health Services (GDHS) unveiled technical instructions for the road, rail and water transport sectors for carrying passengers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government asked them to follow the guidelines before allowing them to hit the streets.
However, not only social distancing other health guidelines are also totally violated in all transport sectors and the risk of more infections may rise in the near future.
In this regard, Dr Lelin Chowdhury, a well known medical practitioner in the country, told the Daily Observer, "At this time, our major task is to maintain social distancing and wearing mask to prevent Covid-19 infection. If it fails then we have to pay extremely high for this. Other health issues also should be maintained strictly."
"Disinfectants should also be kept in all types of transports as in offices and residences," he added.
During the upcoming winter season experts predicted that the infection rate and death rate from deadly Covid-19 virus may increase dangerously. So, the relaxing of boarding passengers in all transports without maintaining social distancing and other health issues may endanger life.
Regarding this, Md Mozammel Hoque Chowdhury, Secretary General of Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh, said, "The government directives are not maintained properly in our country. Violation of health guidelines will bring dangerous consequences. Situation will not be better without strict surveillance by the government."
"Using of health protection materials and its availability can tackle the upcoming phase of coronavirus pandemic which is predicted to flare up in the next winter season in the country," he added.
The government allowed mass transports to ply in limited scale from June 1 after more than two months of suspension for countrywide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Buses were allowed to ply on condition of keeping 50 per cent of its seats vacant and maintaining the health guidelines of the DGHS for the Covid-19 pandemic period. But, later the government allowed them to board passengers in full capacity without standing passengers.