The government is set to bring back on Saturday 361 Bangladeshis, from Wuhan in China, who have expressed their wishes to return from the epicenter of the deadly Coronavirus.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque made the announcement in a press briefing at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday.
He said: “A Biman flight is ready with 4 or 5 physicians to fly to China and bring back our people. They will first be taken to the Ashkona Hajj camp, where they will be screened and placed under observation for 14 days.”
“They will be released after 2 weeks. In the event of any suspected case, they will be taken to Kurmitola Hospital, CMH, or Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital for treatment.”
We also urge the relatives of the returnees to be patient, and not create any type of chaotic situation following the arrival from China, and let us follow the due procedure to allow for the environment for the returnees to safely return to their families, Maleque added.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, at the press briefing, said: “We want to ensure the virus does not spread in Bangladesh.”
“Among the 361, there are 19 families with 18 children, two of whom are below the age of two.”
Minister Maleque said the flight will reach Dhaka by 2 am Saturday.
WHO declares Coronavirus a global health emergency
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency as the death toll from a new Coronavirus reached 213 on Friday.
The virus is believed to have originated late last year in a food market in Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife.
New cases are being reported every day around the world, spurring cuts to travel, outbreaks of anti-China sentiment in some places and a surge in demand for protective face masks.
Medical experts say the rising number of human-to-human transmissions outside China suggests a greater potential for the virus to spread further.
Statistics from China indicate that just over 2% of people infected have died, suggesting that the virus may be less deadly than the Coronaviruses behind 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).