BD airports screen visitors from China for deadly coronavirus

Govt quarantines 312 Bangladeshis in Dhaka after arriving from Wuhan

- A Monitor Report01 Feb, 2020 | 498 Views|-+
Dhaka : The government quarantined 312 Bangladeshis at hospitals in Dhaka after their arrival from coronavirus epicentre Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province in China, on February 1, amid multiple screening in the last twenty hours.

Earlier, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) sent a letter to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh urging them to take necessary measures to avoid the possible spread of Chinese coronavirus.

The measures to prevent a possible risk related to the virus include screening travellers from China by using thermal scanner to detect fever. The disease wing of the government has also trained health workers at the airports in Bangladesh for detecting patients with symptoms of the coronavirus infection, which include fever, coughing and difficulty with breathing.

Upon the arrival of Bangladeshis from Wuhan on a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines on February 1, the health ministry officials at specially set up quarantine at the Hajj camp at Ashkona in Dhaka announced that none of them were contaminated or suspected of carrying the virus.

However, the officials said eight of them were taken to Kurmitola Medical College Hospital and Combined Military Hospital as their fever levels were little higher than usual.

Abul Kalam Azad, Director General of Health Services said that of the 312 Bangladeshis, 297 were adults while 12 were children and three were infants and they were in quarantine for two weeks.

He also said that seven of the passengers were moved to Kurmitola General Hospital with their average 100-degree fever but none were found to have been infected during multiple screening tests.

Most of the Bangladeshis were students and PhD researchers at different universities in the Hubei province in China where their provincial government launched multiple screening tests before allowing them to get on board the plane.

The national flag carrier, which left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 6:00pm on Friday with three physicians, a nurse and required medical equipment, returned to Dhaka at 11:50am on February 1 after 10-hour delay in China due to screening tests and other formalities.

Moreover, on February 2, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen declared that Bangladesh decided to stop issuing on-arrival visas for Chinese nationals amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus. He added that during this period of time, the Chinese citizens will have to present medical certificates to secure Bangladeshi visas.

On the other hand, new walls are rising between China and the world as countries like Vietnam, Australia, the USA and Japan are barring flights to and from China as well as denying entry to noncitizens coming from China.

As the number of deaths and new cases rapidly rose this past week - 304 deaths and more than 14,000 cases by January 26 - one by one, international organisations and foreign countries reacted.

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