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Covid-19: Dhaka residents restricted to shop within 2km of residence

  • Published at 05:46 pm May 7th, 2020
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Shoppers crowd Bashundhara Shopping Complex for their last minute Eid shopping on Sunday, June 2, 2019 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The DMP issued a directive on Eid shopping restrictions on Thursday

Residents of Dhaka will be allowed to do their Eid shopping in areas within 2km of their residences.

They will not be permitted to travel far or to other areas to shop, as a preventive measure against Covid-19 transmission.

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) issued a directive in this regard on Thursday, aiming to contain transmission of the highly contagious disease amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown. 

With Eid-ul-Fitr a little over two weeks away, the government decided on May 4 to reopen shopping malls and markets on a limited scale from May 10. 

For Eid shopping, Dhaka residents must carry a valid document that contains their updated address --- NID, passport, driving licence, original copy of a utility bill, etc, --- and show it at the entrance to a shopping mall or market, according to the DMP directive. 

The Dhaka police authority also said the city's shopping malls and shops would be allowed to conduct business from 10am to 4pm, as per the schedule announced by the government.

However, street hawkers or temporary shops will not be allowed on the footpaths, open spaces or public places.

Automatic disinfection tunnels or chambers must be installed at the entrance of every shopping mall, and thermal scanners must be provided to measure the body temperature of shoppers coming in, according to the DMP directive.

In addition, each store must have a separate temperature measurement system.

All shopping malls must have hand sanitizers at their points of entry, and must adhere to all safety rules and regulations put in place by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the DMP directive cautioned.

Wearing masks is mandatory; no shopper can enter a store without wearing a mask. All vendors and store employees must also wear masks and hand gloves at all times.

Those who don’t carry masks must buy them at the markets; otherwise they won’t be allowed to enter the malls or shops.

A banner containing the warning, "If you don't follow health rules, you risk death", must be displayed in front of every shopping mall and store.

Shoppers and sellers must maintain a distance of at least one metre – about three feet – inside a store at all times. The same distance must be maintained inside and at the entry and exit points of the shopping malls and the markets as well. 

Every shopping mall and marketplace must have separate entry and exit points. 

In order to maintain social distancing, places should be marked in front of every shop for customers.

Elderly people, children and people with heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses are discouraged to go to shopping malls.

Unnecessary gathering or crowds are prohibited inside the shopping malls and markets. The mall authorities must make arrangements to ensure that those who are finished with their purchases leave the premises.

Car parks in the shopping malls and markets must also have a disinfection system. It is also imperative that drivers maintain social distance and stay in their respective vehicles.

Ordinary rickshaws and CNG-run auto-rickshaws will be available on a limited scale for travelling. However, the DMP discourages more than two passengers riding a CNG-run auto-rickshaw. The passengers and the driver must all wear masks.

The DMP has sought full cooperation of city residents in maintaining all safety measures regarding Covid-19.

As of Thursday, the number of confirmed cases in Bangladesh stands at 12,425 since the first detection on March 8. Among these cases, 199 patients have died so far, while 1,910 have made a full recovery. 

Covid-19, a global pandemic, broke out in China’s Wuhan city in December 2019. Caused by a new strain of coronavirus named Sars-CoV-2, the fatal infection spread quickly throughout the world, forcing a majority of countries to go into lockdown. 

According to Worldometer, as of 9pm, Bangladesh time, on Thursday, 3,854,695 people worldwide tested Covid-19 positive. Of them, 266,129 people have died, while 1,317,623 people made full recovery.