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Govt for preventive measures against coronavirus

3 February 2020, 8:00:54

The government has decided to take all measures to stop coronavirus entering the country. “A detailed discussion on coronavirus was held after the regular weekly cabinet meeting in presence of the Prime Minister,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said at a news briefing at Bangladesh Secretariat here.

He said, “A decision was taken to take all possible preventive measures to check coronavirus entering the county at any cost.” Anwarul said the decision was taken as the coronavirus is highly contagious and it spreads fast in comparison to other diseases, but the death rate due to the virus is lower than that of ebola and other diseases. Replying to a question, he said everyone coming to Bangladesh from any other country would have to go through WHO standard double check at all the entry points including the airports.

He said the people who are coming from China, particularly from coronavirus-hit Wuhan city, will be kept in quarantine for 14 days. Answering another question, he said that as many as 312 Bangladeshis have been brought back from China while 171 others wanted to return home. Discussion is going on with the Chinese government over the return of those 171 persons, he said, adding that they wanted to bring them back by a chartered plane as the foreign countries have declined to allow entry to Bangladeshi pilots, who went to China to bring 312 Bangladeshis.

The cabinet secretary said that the Chinese government has assured that they would not send affected Bangladeshis. “We were supposed to bring back 316 Bangladeshis from China. But the Chinese government did not allow four of them to leave as they had been suffering from high fever,” he said. He said that of the 312 people, eight were taken to hospitals and the remaining ones have been kept in quarantine for 14 days. But, he said, the eight persons were not diagnosed with the coronavirus.

He said the Chinese people, who are working in big Bangladeshi projects and returned recently, have been taken in quarantine and those from Wuhan have been asked not to return to Bangladesh. About the operation of flights to and from China, he said the flight operators might stop those as they only get 10 or 12 passengers every day.

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