City Desk: People inside Uttar Tolarbagh residential area, which houses 40 buildings , continue to socialise with each other, even though the area is under lockdown following deaths of two coronavirus-infected patients there recently.

Building residents and dwellers from the slum gather in the roads and tea stalls to gossip — sometimes for hours — due to a lack of patrolling and unwillingness to maintain social distancing, inhabitants allege.

While talking to The Daily Star over phone, several residents demanded the authorities strictly maintain the lockdown and ensure physical distancing as there is a chance of community transmission of coronavirus there.

Shafiqul Islam, general secretary of Uttar Tolarbagh Flat Owners Association, said, “We are in a danger zoneā€¦The authorities should focus on strict implementation of lockdown here.

“There are some policemen deployed in front of the main gate but they do not enter the area. They should come inside to check whether anyone is out of their house unnecessarily,” he told.

He admitted that some youths continue to mingle among themselves in the residential area, although locals have been urged through loudspeakers of mosques to maintain social distancing.

Some do not pay any heed to the cautionary messages, he added.

The move of isolating Tolarbagh area came on Sunday evening after two residents of the neighbourhood died of Covid-19 in the last few days.

A shop owner of the area said, “There is a tea stall inside the area where local youths regularly gather. I saw around 15 youths gossiping there around 11:45am today.”

Another resident, who came out to buy essentials, also said that many were not in home quarantine and he had seen people on the ground floor of at least two buildings.

“A slum is located nearby where 2,000 people live. They share a road with the inhabitants of the residential buildings. Youths from the slum often also join the gatherings,” he said.

Some inhabitants alleged that Dhaka North City Corporation has been spraying disinfectants in other areas, but had not sprayed a single drop in the area since the death of the two infected persons till Wednesday.

“Today, city corporation officials came and sprayed disinfectant after days of request,” said an official of the association.

Tofayel Ahamed, officer-in-charge of Darussalam Police Station, said, “Why will police go inside? Police are discharging duties at the entrance.”

There are volunteers and members of the housing committee who are promoting social distancing inside the residential area, he added.