Twenty eight travellers from the United Kingdom, who came to Bangladesh recently, have been detected positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine, creating panic in Sylhet region and elsewhere in the country.
The community and media affairs additional deputy commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police, BM Ashraf Ullah Taher, confirmed New Age about the detection on Monday night after receiving the result of COVID-19 tests held at Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital.
‘Samples from 157 UK travellers, who have been kept in institutional quarantine at different hotels in the city, were collected on Sunday. After testing, 28 of them were detected positive for the virus,’ he said.
The SMP officer said that the infected travellers were shifted to 31-bed Khadimpara Hospital in the city from respective hotels on the night.
He said that the 157 passengers reached the Sylhet Osmani International Airport from the Heathrow airport of London by a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight on January 21.
The Bangladeshi-origin UK travellers had been sent to different hotels in the city under the supervision of police and army administrations from the Sylhet airport to stay four days in institutional quarantine according to a government directive issued in this connection, the SMP officer said.
The remaining 129 travellers, who tested negative, were allowed to go to their home after the result of their tests became available, he said.
On Monday, another 143 travellers from the UK also arrived in Sylhet by a Biman flight and they were sent to several hotels in the city for staying four days in institutional quarantine, an official of the airport said.
Talking to New Age, Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital deputy director Himangshu Lal Roy said that they already informed the authorities of Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research, officials of health department and local administration the issue, asking for further examinations of the samples.
‘We are very sincere about the matter. But, the SOMCH does not have the equipment to ascertain whether the UK travellers have been infected with the new variant of COVID-19 found in the UK,’ he said.
Himangshu said that the IEDCR assured them to send a team to Sylhet by Wednesday for collecting the patients’ samples to find out the variant of the coronavirus the patients are infected with.
‘The IEDCR will inform us later about the latest development in this regard,’ he added.
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