No coronavirus case in Bangladesh: Minister

Published: 28 Jan 2020 Updated: 29 Jan 2020   

Online Desk

Health Minister Zahid Maleque speaks at the Secretariat on Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020. Photo: PID

Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday said there is nothing to worry about coronavirus as no such patient has been detected in Bangladesh yet.


The minister said this at a press conference at the Secretariat after an inter-ministerial meeting, reports UNB.


“We’re working so that the virus cannot enter Bangladesh,” he said adding that the government is fully ready to face the situation even if the virus infects anyone.


Chinese health authorities on Tuesday announced that 4,515 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) had been reported in 30 provincial-level regions by the end of Monday.


A total of 106 people died of the disease, reports Xinhua.


The minister said airports, land ports, seaports have been directed to take necessary measures in this regard, and scanning machines set up at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport while hand scanning machines in others.


He said all the civil surgeons have been directed to make arrangements of treatment at hospitals while Kurmitola General Hospital and Infectious Diseases Hospital in Dhaka to take special measures for providing treatment to coronavirus-infected people.


“No one of the 300 Bangladeshi students living in China has been infected with the virus so far,” he added.


Mentioning Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s directive to bring Bangladeshi students back home from China, the Health Minister said the Chinese government wants them to stay 14 days more there.


The 14-day deadline will end on February 6, said a Foreign Ministry official.


About travelling to China, the minister said no ban has yet been imposed on travelling to China, “but we’ll follow the instructions from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in this regard. I’ll suggest those who travel to China for many reasons to refrain from doing so for some days.”


Asked about a Chinese citizen’s admission to a city hospital with coughing, the minister said he was admitted to United Hospital with coughing but it is not sure yet what type of virus has infected him.


Prof Abul Kalam Azad, director, Directorate General of Health Services, said the Chinese patient is doing well now and wants to leave the hospital, “but we’ve told him to remain under observation for a few days more.”


A Foreign Ministry official said 2,308 passengers entered Bangladesh from China in the last 15 days while about 7,000 left the country for China.


According to sources at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, about 400 passengers travel to China every day in four flights from the airport.


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