23 Bangladeshis flown to Delhi from Wuhan

Jute minister not affected: IEDCR

Staff Correspondent | Published: 09:43, Feb 27,2020 | Updated: 00:58, Feb 28,2020


In this photo collected from Facebook shows Bangladeshi nationals along with other evacuees at Delhi airport- Courtesy photo

Twenty-three more Bangladeshi nationals were evacuated from Wuhan of China, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, by an Indian Airforce flight early Thursday, said an official.

They landed in Delhi on Thursday along with other Indian nationals and would be quarantined in special facilities in the suburbs of Delhi.

Hasan Jahid Tusher, a deputy press secretary to prime minister Sheikh Hasina, confirmed the news.

Earlier, the government had evacuated 312 Bangladeshis from Wuhan on February 1.

They had been quarantined at the Hajj Camp near the Dhaka airport and the Combined Military Hospital before being released two weeks later.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research said that textile and jute minister Golam Dastagir Gazi was not infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus, but with the 229E virus, which is a sub-group of the coronavirus family.

The 229E coronavirus causes common cold symptoms and other conditions.

IEDCR director Meerjady Sabrina Flora at a news briefing at her office on Thursday said that the minister had recently taken respiratory treatment in Singapore and the test reports showed that he did not contracted the Covid-19 virus.

The minister is undergoing treatment at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University hospital, she said.

Meerjady said that the 229E virus could be contracted from winter vegetables.

229E is one of seven variants of coronavirus. It is one of the first coronavirus strains, described as the alpha coronavirus. It causes common cold symptoms in adults.

The virus is also associated with a range of respiratory symptoms, starting from common cold to high-morbidity outcomes such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

Till yesterday early afternoon, Meerjady said, none was found infected with Covid-19 in Bangladesh.

The 229E virus is common in Bangladesh and people infected with this virus frequently suffer from common cold, she said.

Such patients do not need to be kept in isolation or quarantine.

‘This is very much a common virus,’ Meerjady said.

In mainland China, the death toll from the Covid-19 virus reached 2,744 as of yesterday, according to the Chinese national health commission.

Besides, at least 78,500 other people got infected with the virus that started spreading in late December from a market in Wuhan, China, that sells wild animals.

The virus has already spread to over three dozen countries and South Korea, Singapore, Iran and Italy are the worst hit after China.

Though none has so far been found infected with the deadly virus in Bangladesh, six Bangladeshi expatriates have been identified infected in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Among them, five remain in hospital in Singapore, including one under intensive care in a critical condition.

The health condition of the other Bangladeshi in the UAE is stable.

The World Health Organisation has already alerted the countries all over the world to prepare for a Covid-19 pandemic situation.

Bangladesh has prepared with screening measures at the ports of entry and set up isolation units at the medical college hospitals and district hospitals.

The IEDCR has advised people to follow hygiene to fend off coronavirus attack.

It has asked people to wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, protect the face with mask from symptoms of the Covid-19 infection like sneezing, coughing fever, and breathing difficulty.

The IEDCR has also urged people to contact its hotlines if anyone coming from abroad is found with the symptoms. The hotlines are: +8801937000011, +8801937110011, +8801927711784 and +8801927711785.

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