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18 February, 2020 12:04:29 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 18 February, 2020 04:06:35 PM
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All China, S’pore returnees don’t need isolation: IEDCR

CORONAVIRUS outbreak
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
All China, S’pore returnees don’t need isolation: IEDCR

Coronavirus outbreak did not happen in all parts of China or Singapore and there is no need to keep all the returnees from those countries in hospital quarantine, said IEDCR yesterday. Director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, at a press briefing at the IEDCR auditorium, said, “We see pressure from people and departments concerned to keep China and Singapore-returnees in hospital isolation. If someone comes from these countries doesn’t mean that he/she is COVID-19 infected,”

A misconception has been created among people over China and Singapore-returnees and they (the returnees) are facing a humiliating situation, she said.

There are many provinces in China where no coronavirus has spread.

Meanwhile, a Bangladesh student, who was released from quarantine in Ashkona Hajj Camp, has been admitted to Habiganj Sadar Hospital while a Bangladesh returnee from China was admitted to Barguna General Hospital with fever after suspicion of coronavirus infection.

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming yesterday said the return of 172 Bangladeshi from Hubei province cannot take place due to some technical difficulties.

Replying to a question at the DCAB Talk, organised by Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) at the National Press Club in the capital, the Chinese envoy said, “Permission is not a problem but there are some technical difficulties. They would remain fine in there. However, we are working on it.”

Even if the airline crews go there, they would be banned from flying to other countries, he added.  

“The Chinese government is taking care of the Bangladeshi students. There would be risks if they were brought back. It would not only be risky for the individuals but also for Bangladeshi society,” the Chinese envoy added.

 “Not a single Bangladeshi is affected by the virus in here. Even no Chinese person living here has been affected,” he said.

At the IEDCR Briefing, the Dr Meerjady

said, “We do not need to be afraid of anyone who has returned from Singapore or China, the situation is not like that. Just as an added precaution, we are asking them to stay in the quarantine or in their residence.  There is no need to go out unless necessary. If you do go out, wear a mask and wash hands repeatedly. Then any possible infection cannot not spread,” Dr Meerjady added.

She further said, “The five Bangladeshis who were affected in Singapore worked at the same place. So, those who were working in other parts of Singapore are likely not affected.” “We’re keeping China and Singapore-returnees suffering from fever and cough isolated, testing them and suggesting others to stay in self-quarantine,” she added.

The IEDCR director said 65 samples have been tested so far and there were no coronavirus found in any of these. In addition, three more samples were collected from China returnees. The results of these tests will be known soon.

Drawing attention to the administration outside Dhaka, Dr Flora said, “We’ll keep people in quarantine upon suggestions from the Health Directorate only when the returnee has any symptom.”

She urged district and upazila officials not to take any decision over COVID-19 infection and offer cooperation by informing the local health authorities in this regard.

She also said, “The 312 returnees from China have completed their two weeks in quarantine. They have already returned to their homes. However, they were asked to remain alert for another 10 days.”

Meanwhile, A Bangladesh student, who was released from quarantine in Ashkona Hajj Camp, has been admitted to Habiganj Sadar Hospital while a Bangladesh returnee from China admitted to Barguna General Hospital with fever, suspicion of coronavirus infection.

In Habiganj, the student was quarantined at Ashkona Haji Camp for 15 days, after release from there he went his house in Sayesthanagar area in the town. After returning home, he was admitted to the hospital as he felt unwell. But he had to leave the hospital after coronavirus scare spread across the hospital. Later, Habiganj Sadar police took him to the hospital for treatment. He was kept in a special ward opened for coronavirus victims at Habiganj Sadar Hospital. The hospital, however, does not have any testing kit for coronavirus.

“His blood samples have been sent for testing. We can disclose the detail after receiving the reports,” said Dr Mostafizur Rahman, civil surgeon of Habiganj.

“The student has been suffering from cold-related diseases and shoulder pain for the last three days. He has been kept in an isolated room for intensive care. A medical board was formed in the hospital,” Dr Mostafizur added. In Barguna, a China returnee Bangladeshi student was admitted to the Barguna General Hospital on Sunday. Hospital authorities have asked IEDCR to confirm whether he is suffering from coronavirus infection or not.  A two-member team from Patuakhali Health Department collected the blood and other samples from the student yesterday morning.

Civil Surgeon of Barguna Dr Sohrab Uddin said, “The student has been kept in isolation ward as he is having mild fever. But there is nothing to be scared as he hasn’t shown any symptoms of coronavirus.”

At the DCAB Talk, the Chinese envoy said, “Some 10,000 Chinese people live in Bangladesh. And many of them have gone on vacation to China. We have advised them not to return now.”

The envoy, however, could not state the approximate number of Bangladeshis currently living in China. “The Bangladesh nationals living in China would be bigger than the number of Chinese people living here. Around 20,000 Bangladesh are living in Kunming. There are Bangladeshis in other provinces, too,” Li Jiming said.

The envoy also urged Bangladeshi businessmen not to look for alternative markets for raw materials and other products due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“It (switching to other suppliers) would be costly, impossible and unnecessary, considering the situation on the ground. Do not impose any restriction on trade,” the Chinese envoy urged.

  Li Jiming also said that on account of the outbreak of the virus, business and trade have been affected, but the Chinese people are coming back to business after the vacation.

In reply to a query on concealing the coronavirus outbreak, he said, “At the end of December, we found a case. We informed the WHO about it within six weeks.” He, however, said the Western media was spreading false, fabricated and insulting reports about the coronavirus outbreak.

“The US hid the disease of H1N1 for six months. But we have disclosed it in six weeks. It could have been better if coronavirus had been disclosed earlier, but we had to go through certain procedures,” he said.

The Chinese ambassador said China has full confidence and determination to win the battle against the virus.  

When queried about the fact that China had imposed censorship on publishing the coronavirus outbreak, he said, “Every country has censorships. We even saw censorship imposed by the US during the Gulf War.”

In reply to a query about setting up a deep seaport at Sonadia by a Chinese company, he said, “Japan is already doing it at Matarbari. The market will be fulfilled by Japan. But China is trying to set up a Bay Terminal in Chittagong.”  

About the Indo-Pacific relations, he said, “It’s not an economic alliance like the Belt and Road Initiative of China. It’s a mechanism of the US military.”

MK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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