At first sight, no one would understand why people were hanging out in front of an apparently closed shop in the Kathalbagan area of the capital on Thursday morning.
Upon a closer inspection, one would find out that the shop looked closed, but the owner kept serving tea, biscuit or cold drinks to customers gathering in front of it. He also let customers get in by opening the shutter a little.
This has been a common picture in the city since the government imposed a strict lockdown to curb Covid-19 infections. Aside from shops, some private offices are also operating, violating the restrictions, said sources.
Shahadat Hossain, a private employee, told The Business Standard that their office had opened from Wednesday ignoring the lockdown measure.
"It will operate with 50% workforce. However, people outside our office know that we are closed," he said.
Monir Hossain, a tea shop owner at Bangla Motor, told TBS, "I sell tea on for takeaway services. No one takes tea inside the store. I pull the shutter down when police comes."
Priyantar Kumar Das, an employee of a barbershop, told TBS the authority closed down his shop, while many others in the area were operating businesses.
The administration was struggling to stop people from coming out on the streets as they left home either to go to offices and factories, to provide emergency services, or to the kitchen markets in the city.
The alleys and lanes were more crowded than the main roads.
According to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police sources, 1,077 persons were arrested for violating lockdown rules on Thursday. Among them 318 were punished by mobile court.
Meanwhile, the movement of private cars, microbuses and rickshaws had been increasing on the roads of the capital since Thursday morning. There were also traffic jams at some areas in the city.
Dhaka's usual traffic congestion returned since Monday when the banks were reopened after four days holiday.
Md Ashikur Rahman, traffic sergeant at the Karwan Bazar area said, "The traffic was heavier on Thursday than on any other day. Those who drove out without a reason and those who did not follow the rules were sued."
Md Selim, a rental driver who was fined by police, said, "I brought passengers from the airport. Passengers coming from or going abroad are allowed to travel but my car was stopped and fined."
Visiting a number of spots including Farmgate, Kawran Bbazar, Panthapath, Banglamotor and Shahbagh area, it was seen that there were more private vehicles on the roads than ever before in the strict lockdown period.