Govt suspends transport services amid virus

Publish: 8:38 PM, March 24, 2020 | Update: 8:38:PM, March 24, 2020

DHAKA, – The government has suspended the movement of all sorts of transports including bus, train and launch across the country amid the coronavirus crisis.

The train and launch services will shut down from this evening while the bus services will be suspended from Thursday. All these services will remain suspended till April 4.

In a video message, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today said public transport services will remain suspended from March 26 to April 4 in the country aiming to contain the spread of the COVID-19.

He said trucks, covered vans and vehicles carrying medicine, fuel and perishable items will remain out of the purview of the shutdown.

“Considering the safely of commoners, the government has decided to shut down the public transports,” the minister said, adding that no passenger can travel by goods-laden vehicles during the period.

The Road Transport and Bridges Ministry also issued a notification in this regard today.

Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan today announced the shutdown of the nationwide railway communication which would be effective from this evening.

“We are going to implement the government’s decision to halt operation of all public transport. So, the operation of all train services will remain suspended from today until the further notice,” he told a press conference at Rail Bhaban here.

However, Sujan said, the goods- and oil-carrying trains would remain operational in a limited scale.

Although the authorities are going to suspend rail operation from this evening, it may take several hours more as the trains that left their stations would return there from Dhaka, the minister said.

But, he said, no scheduled train will run after the evening.

Railways Ministry Senior Secretary Mofazzel Hossain and Bangladesh Railway Director General Md Shamsuzzaman were, among others, present at the press briefing.

As part of the decision, countrywide launch services will also remain suspended from this evening, but the ferry services will remain open in a limited scale.

“We are in the risk of deadly corona contamination …the countrywide passenger launch services will remain suspended from today (Tuesday),” he said in a video message from his secretariat office here today.

But the essential commodities would be transported through the cargo services, he said, adding that the ferry services will remain open in a limited scale for transporting the emergency transport movement including the ambulances.

He, however, said that the movement of the common people is strictly prohibited through the ferry services.