Bangladesh evacuating over 300 nationals from Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak 

Bangladesh is bringing home more than 300 of its nationals from Wuhan, the locked down epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak that has claimed more than 200 lives in China and set off a global health emergency.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 31 Jan 2020, 09:38 PM
Updated : 31 Jan 2020, 09:57 PM

A Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane reached Tianhe International Airport in the Chinese city around 9pm local time on Friday for the evacuation.

The authorities earlier in the afternoon moved the Bangladeshi students by bus to the airport where they underwent tests before boarding the plane.

A total of 361 Bangladeshis, including 19 families, 18 children and two infants, registered for the evacuation, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said earlier.

Masked Bangladeshis entering Tianhe International Airport in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Friday for evacuation from the epicentre of a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Reza Sultanuzzaman, a Bangladeshi researcher in China who was involved with making the list of the returnees, said 318 Bangladeshis, including 19 children, from 21 universities in Wuhan, reported at the airport to be flown out.

They were expected to arrive at Shahjalal International Airport in the wee hours of Saturday, but the jet did not take off until 2:30am.

They had undergone three rounds of medical tests by the time, Sultanuzzaman said.

Masked Bangladeshis entering Tianhe International Airport in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Friday for evacuation from the epicentre of a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The plane is a 419-seater Boeing 777 plane, according to Tahera Khandaker, a spokesperson for Biman.

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research or IEDCR is consulting Mushtuq Husain, who has recently retired as its chief scientific officer, to deal with the evacuation and isolation of the Bangladeshis.

The plane to China is carrying surgical and N95 masks, gloves, disposable gowns, hand sanitizer, caps and shoe covers, among other things, for the evacuees, crew members and health workers, according to Mushtuq.

Bangladeshis wareing protective masks getting off a bus at Tianhe International Airport in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Friday for evacuation from the epicentre of a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The Bangladeshi evacuees will be kept under observation for 14 days – the incubation period of the virus - at the Ashkona Hajj Camp near the airport. Police and army personnel will be deployed to secure the camp.

“The camp has been quarantined to keep the returnees under watch. If someone shows the symptoms, he or she will be hospitalised,” he said. The symptoms of coronavirus infection include fever, coughing and difficulty with breathing,

Mushtuq advised all to regularly wash hands with soap and maintain hygiene to prevent contracting the virus.

Masked Bangladeshis entering Tianhe International Airport in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Friday for evacuation from the epicentre of a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Anyone suspecting an infection by the virus can call national emergency helpline 999.

“Such patients should not visit hospitals themselves. We will send people to record the patients’ history, if necessary,” he added.

[Additional reporting by bdnews24.com China Correspondent Saiyedul Islam, Staff Correspondent Masum Billah and Staff Correspondent Golam Mujtaba Dhruba]

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