Special flight to evacuate 361 Bangladeshis from China's Wuhan amid deadly coronavirus outbreak

A special flight is set to bring back 361 Bangladeshi nationals from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 31 Jan 2020, 07:49 AM
Updated : 31 Jan 2020, 01:42 PM

They will arrive in Dhaka on Friday night and will then be kept under 14-day observation at the Ashkona Hajj Camp. Police and army personnel will be deployed to the camp for security.

Health Minister Zahid Malik has called on families of the returnees to remain patient and resist the urge to meet their loved ones during the observation period.

The government will provide updates on the situation from time to time, according to the minister.

He was addressing a media briefing on the government's plans to evacuate citizens stranded in Wuhan alongside Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman at Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday.

During the observation period, those who will not show symptoms of the infection will be allowed to return home while those who fall sick will be admitted to the hospital for proper medical treatment, said Zahid.

A Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight will leave Dhaka for China on Friday evening, he added, without specifying when it will land in Wuhan.

Addressing the families of the returnees, the minister said: “Please don’t be restless to meet them. We’ll provide information about them from time to time. We have made the necessary arrangements for that."

“We’re completely ready to bring back our students. They are the citizens of this country and it is our duty to look after them. At the same time, it is our duty to ensure that they don’t spread the infection in case they’re already infected. We’ve taken necessary precautions to ensure our country and its people remain safe.”

The returnees include 19 families, 18 children and two infants, according to the foreign minister.

“We’re completely ready to bring back our students. They are citizens of this country and it is our duty to look after them. At the same time, it is our duty to ensure that they don’t spread any infection in case they’re already infected. We’ve taken necessary precautions to ensure our country and its people remain safe,” said Momen.

“We need to handle them sensitively and keep them quarantined. Their families should not meet them. We’re not aware if anyone among them is sick. A vaccine for the virus is yet to be developed,” he added.

Although Bangladesh has not stopped flights to China, Momen nevertheless discouraged people from travelling to China for the time being.

 
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