PEOPLE SCRAMBLED to find means of transportation in their desperate attempts to go back to their villages from the capital Dhaka for Eid-ul-Fitr amid Covid-induced restrictions in Bangladesh.
The home-bound people, including women and children, crowded highways and ferry ghats to get onto anything that could take them towards their destinations. Some of them managed to cross the Padma river in packed trawlers and fishing boats, risking their lives.
Border Guard Bangladesh, deployed at Shimulia-Bangla Bazar and Paturia-Daulatdia ferry ghats to enforce the restrictions on the movement of passengers across the river, could do little to check crowding at the vital places.
Bangladesh Inland Waterways Transport Corporation said it suspended ferry services during the daytime, but allowed some vehicles due to “emergencies”.
The rush to cross the river was such that when a ferry was allowed to leave on Sunday, anxious people swarmed onto it forcing the police to cane them, the Daily Sun reported, saying it eventually set off with 1,500 people on board.
People also boarded fishing boats and trawlers, some of them carrying up to 150 passengers. In the absence of long-distance buses, people hired microbus, pick-up vans, and private vehicles to leave Dhaka, the report said adding people were seen travelling by goods vehicles.
Meanwhile, China said 5 lakh doses of Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine will arrive in Bangladesh on Wednesday (12). Its ambassador Li Jiming who made the announcement on Monday (10) hailed its emergency-use authorization granted by Bangladesh prior to WHO clearance as a far-sighted decision.
Bangladesh had recently suspended fresh registrations for vaccination in the face of a delay in the arrival of jabs from India which is itself fighting a grim battle against the pandemic.