With different markets in the capital seeing crowds before Eid-ul-Fitr, two mobile courts of Dhaka Metropolitan Police on Tuesday fined 38 people Tk11,550 for not wearing masks during shopping.
Moreover, Bangladesh Shop Owners Association kept China Town shopping mall in Paltan closed for several hours as shoppers ignored hygiene rules. The market reopened in the afternoon.
At midday, Executive Magistrate Sheikh Rafiqul Islam during a drive at Bashundhara City shopping complex fined 17 people Tk5,500. Another mobile court led by Executive Magistrate Dr Sanjib Dash fined 21 people Tk6,050 at New Market and Chandrima shopping mall.
"A lot of people are not wearing masks properly. Most keep it below their chin or nose, which is why they are being fined," said Rafiqul.
Ali Asgar, a store employee at Bashundhara mall who was fined Tk1,000 for not wearing a mask, said he had his mask on but it was not in the right place.
"That is why they fined me. Then they told me they would have to detain me as I did not have Tk1,000 with me."
Aminul Islam, a shopper, was fined Tk200 for keeping his mask below his nose.
The mobile court led by Rafiqul first started the drive on the first floor of the shopping mall before going to the second. As the escalator was closed, Rafiqul walked to the third floor and saw that there was electricity on one side but not on the other.
"But as soon as I went to the side where there was electricity, there was a power outage there. What a strange thing," he said.
Both shoppers and traders suffered due to the power cut.
Earlier in the day, disinfectant tunnels at the entrances to the mall were not working. A security guard was standing in front of a tunnel with a thermal scanner in his hand but he was not measuring the body temperature of visitors. Everyone was given hand sanitiser as they entered the mall.
With the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown extended till 16 May, law enforcement agencies have started checking whether visitors are following hygiene rules at shopping malls in Dhaka. It has been observed that most of the shoppers and traders do not follow social distancing and health safety rules.
On Monday, the government said local administrations would conduct massive monitoring drives at markets and shopping malls in their respective areas to ensure the implementation of hygiene guidelines.
If there is any violation of the guidelines at any shopping centre, it will be closed immediately, if necessary, the government warned.
The cabinet secretary said on the same day strict action would be taken against anyone coming out of the house without wearing a mask.
He said police and magistrates would supervise every market across the country by conducting continuous mobile court drives. He further said the shop owners association had assured the government of cooperating with the administration in this regard.
"Shop owners will also supervise whether shoppers are abiding by health guidelines."