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All mass transport services to be shut down if coronavirus situation worsens

  • Published at 12:06 pm March 20th, 2020
transport strike
File photo Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh has confirmed 17 cases, with one death as of Thursday

As the coronavirus situation continues to worsen with 17 confirmed cases and one death as of Thursday, the government has said it will shut down bus, train and launch services all over Bangladesh.

Speaking to UNB, Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan said: “According to instructions from the Health Ministry, we have taken precautions on board every train, and at every station. Right now, we are measuring the body temperature of every passenger at Kamalapur, Airport, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Sylhet, and all other stations before allowing them to board.

“If situation worsens, we are prepared to halt complete operations.”

When contacted, Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader echoed the same: “All measures have been taken as per directives of the Health Ministry.

“We are prepared to shut down operations if situations deteriorates further.” 

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said there are medical teams on board every vessel.

"We are taking measures to keep our vessels safe. If the situation worsens, we are prepared to halt our operations," he said.

As of 10:30am Friday, the coronavirus has killed more than 10,000 people worldwide, with over 245,000 people infected globally.

Within 10 days of the first case of coronavirus being reported in the country, the number of infected people climbed to 17 on Thursday with three fresh cases, the Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Dr Abul Kalam Azad, confirmed at a press briefing at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) in Dhaka’s Mohakhali.

A total of 12 infected people are undergoing treatment in hospital. Of them, four are fighting for life as they have comorbidity (other lifelong diseases).

Earlier on Wednesday, with the death of a 70-year-old man, Bangladesh recorded its first death from Covid-19, which has spread to at least 160 countries around the world. Three others were released after being cured.

Meanwhile, 43 others have also been under institutional quarantine over suspected symptoms of Covid-19. Besides, 19, including the 12 confirmed cases, were kept in isolation in a hospital in the city.