• Monday, Jul 04, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Rise of the chin masks

  • Published at 05:29 pm August 10th, 2020
People get on board of an overcrowded ferry at the Sadarghat Ferry Port amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 30, 2020.  Reuters

People are seen with masks dangling on their chin, or they leave them in their pockets or hands

Health safety measures are not being followed in public transports across the capital. From the drivers or helpers to the passengers, there is no awareness like before. 

Although people are seen with masks, many are not using them properly. Some have their masks in their hands or pockets. Some are seen keeping it below their face, reports Bangla Tribune.

However, buses are seen carrying passengers while keeping 50% seats vacant.

In the morning, a considerable crowd of office-going passengers was seen in the Bashabo area of the city. As soon as the bus arrives, 50% of the allotted seats are filled. 

No hand sanitization or body temperature measurement was being done while picking up passengers.

The helpers did not even have masks on their faces. Due to too much rush, passengers were seen standing inside the bus.

Rajib Uddin, a helper of Midway Transport, said: "There are a lot of crowds before the office starts in the morning and after the office ends in the afternoon.

“People do not want to follow any rules and forcibly get on the bus. We can't convince them even if we try. On the contrary, we have to listen to different kinds of taunts,” he added.

While talking to Akram Hossain, an employee of a private organization, he said: “There are less vehicles than passengers in the morning. So, many people walk to the office. Sometimes I go to the office by bus, but we are being charged double fare now.”

When asked about why his mask was resting on his chin rather than covering his face, he said: "I kept it like this for some time because I was out of breath."

The same scenario was seen in the Rampura Bridge area. Though most of the office-going passengers were seen wearing masks and other protective equipment, the trend was not prevalent among the labouring people.

They say, no mask costs less than Tk10. After a few hours of use, it becomes unusable. It takes at least two to three masks every day. 

It is difficult for them to manage this kind of money.

Borhan Mia, a rickshaw puller, said: “It is difficult to drive a rickshaw while wearing a mask. I can't breathe and become exasperated. I become drenched with sweat. It is difficult for us to buy two or three masks every day. The government can provide masks to the working people like us if they want.”

Around 9:30am, the vehicles plying in the Banglamotor area were found to have 50% vacant seats.

However, hygiene was not being maintained while loading and unloading passengers. Helpers of many vehicles did not have masks.

Most of the passengers complained about doubling the fare.

A passenger named Iqbal Uddin said: “Previously, you could go from Gulistan to Shahbag with Tk10. But now they are charging Tk25. If you say something, you have to be harassed by the helpers.”

In the morning, small lagoons (small four wheelers) are seen carrying passengers at the Khilgaon railway gate.

Four passengers on each side, which means a total of eight passengers sit inside the small space.

Two passengers are seated beside the driver in front. In addition, another passenger remains standing beside the helper.

Few of the passengers were not even wearing masks.

While talking to Laguna driver Rakib, he said: “What can we do if people are not aware? Every day I tell them to maintain health safety measures hundreds of times, but no one listens. They think coronavirus is gone. Do you feel like there is a pandemic when you look at the people?”

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