Dhaka: The Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh on July 16 clarified that the Italian government suspended flights from Bangladesh along with 12 other countries till July 31.
The ministry also claimed that Bangladeshis, who entered Italy amid the coronavirus pandemic, did not carry fake COVID-19 negative certificates.
The ministry made the clarification by issuing a press release saying that its attention has been drawn to the news reports ran by some newspapers and TV channels regarding detection of coronavirus among some Bangladeshi expatriates in Italy.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to flag that around 1,600 Bangladeshis, who went to Italy recently, did not carry fake COVID19 negative certificates,” it said.
The Italian government has not yet put any condition to carry COVID-19 negative certificate for travelling to Italy though some of the Bangladeshi passengers carried such certificates on their own, just in case they required those subsequently, it added.
Unfortunately, some Bangladeshis who travelled to Italy in the recent days did not follow the mandatory quarantine rule, and “probably a few of them might have spread the virus in the community”.
“Fact of the matter is, among the (Italy-bound Bangladeshi) passengers, only 33 carried COVID negative certificates and none of them were from Regent Hospital or JKG Health Care. More importantly, Italy never required any passenger to carry COVID-19 negative certificate,” said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen.
The Foreign Ministry release also clarified that flights from Bangladesh, along with 12 other countries, have been suspended by the Italian authorities till July 31, 2020, while some media reported that flights are banned from Bangladesh to Italy till October 5.
However, it said, unfortunately, some Bangladeshis who travelled to Italy in the recent days did not follow the mandatory quarantine rule, and “probably a few of them might have spread the virus in the community”.
In the last one week, out of 5,000 tests, 65 Bangladeshis residents in the Lazzio region of Italy have been detected with coronavirus.
The Italian government has decided to conduct COVID-19 tests for all Bangladeshis (around 30,000) living the area in coordination with the Bangladesh embassy in Rome, added the release.