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20 February, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 February, 2020 01:42:29 AM
Coronavirus outbreak

Infected expat in S’pore in critical state: Momen

Two lakh travellers so far screened: Malik
Staff Reporter, Dhaka
Infected expat in S’pore in critical state: Momen

The coronavirus infected Bangladeshi expatriate in Singapore hospital is now in a critical condition as the medicines, which are being administered to his body, are not working. The 39-year-old Bangladeshi, whose name is not being disclosed due to privacy, has been staying in an Intensive Care Unit of a Singaporean hospital for 13 days, said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told journalists yesterday after emerging from inaugural ceremony of the ‘2nd Brainstorming Session on Comprehensive Reform of the OIC’ at a hotel in the capital.

Meanwhile, agencies entrusted to deal with COVID-19 have screened as many as two lakh returnees in air land and seaports of the country when death toll from coronavirus reached 2000 across the world. At a programme of Services Directorate (College of Nursing) in the capital, Health Minister Zahid Malik said, “The thermal scanners, set up in air, land and seaports in the country, have screened as many as two lakh people upon their arrival at the ports and urged all not to be panicked about the virus. In a press briefing at her office, Director of Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora said no coronavirus has been found in any animals or birds in Bangladesh. However, the IEDCR advised the people to keep off any sick or infected animals or birds. Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora urged all not to spread fear in the country.

She said that if a COVID-19 infected patient is found in Bangladesh, we will first inform the World Health Organisation (WHO) about it. “The infected patients will be treated at any public or private hospital that has a good laboratory. Measures will be taken so that the patients need not spend extra money,” she said. The foreign minister also said, “Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan phoned me yesterday morning. He informed that one of our Bangladesh expatriates infected with coronavirus is in critical situation.”

“The man has been suffering from different complications like respiratory, kidney diseases. Amid such a situation coronavirus has been detected in his body. Singapore government is giving their best care,” he added. The minister further said, “Singapore foreign minister said top services are being given to the patient. But since yesterday medicine is not responding. He assured me that they are doing their best on their own cost.”

Bangladesh foreign minister asked his counterpart that if the person dies his family members will ask for the body. “They will make all arrangements in that case.” Momen said quoting Balakrishnan.

Asked about the identity of the patient in critical condition, he said, “We know the name of the patient but they don’t want to disclose it due to the privacy of the patient.”

Right now, there are five Bangladeshi expatriates who have been infected with coronavirus. The four persons are in a normal condition except one.

Asked about the meeting of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), he said, “OIC has various problems within. So we are thinking how to strengthen OIC to build it up as a truly Muslim organisation. There will be much debate among the think tanks here. They would reach a framework through discussion.”

“I have said Muslims are fighting among themselves. They can address the problems through negotiations. War destroys their resources and even such conflicts bring bad name for them. So, we want the infighting should stop immediately,” he added.

“Bangladesh is a role model for the Muslim countries. We are resolving all kinds of problems with our neighbours through discussions. We have solved many problems with India through dialogue. It shows the maturity of foreign diplomacy. They can follow us.”

“We are still continuing friendly relations with Myanmar despite persecution of Rohingya people there. We are trying to resolve the Rohingya crisis through dialogue. I believe we will be successful,” he added.

Asked about the return of Bangladeshi students from China, he said, “China is providing all sorts of logistic supports to our people. But China thinks that if they are kept in quarantine, it will be fine. However, we are discussing the matter.”

“China has basically controlled the coronavirus which is confined to a single province. It has been possible due to their effective actions. However, we are ready to bring back our people,” he added.

Asked about opening of the labour market in Malaysia, he said, “Very soon a ministerial delegation would arrive in Bangladesh and they might bring some good news.”

Meanwhile, Dr Meerjady said, “No person in the country has so far been infected by the coronavirus as all 74 samples of suspected cases tested by the institute for the virus turned out negative, she said by adding that of the samples tested, two were collected in the last 24 hours.”

She suggested people not to be panicked about the virus. “No one has been infected with the virus so far. Therefore, we need not to worry about that. Bangladesh is at risk but we have made preparation to prevent it.”

The doctor urged the countrymen not to pay heed to any rumors about the coronavirus. Dr Meerjady said, “If you want to know any information, you can directly contact with IEDCR. If any patient is found, he or she will be quarantined immediately.”




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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

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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.

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