BD stops receiving new passport applications amid COVID-19 pandemic

- A Monitor Desk Report 24 Mar, 2020 | 572 Views|-+
Dhaka: The Department of Immigration and Passports has stopped receiving new applications for passports amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The decision was effective from March 23, said Major Gen Shakil Ahmed, Director General of the department.

“The collections of biometric features, including fingerprints, are risky,” he said.

The novel coronavirus is highly contagious and spreads by droplets of cough or sneezing and touches. Generally, it infects the respiratory system.

“To get a new passport, the applicant must provide fingerprints. It is quite risky under the present circumstances. Therefore, we stopped receiving applications for new passports. We’ll resume the services once the situation improves,” Ahmed said.

The department, however, continues re-issuing passports or any correction needed, as no fingerprints are required for that, he said.

On March 23, the authority collected the fingerprints of some applicants as they appeared at the office before the process was halted.

Usually, the officials collect the fingerprints from around 500 new passport applicants every day.

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