7 under observation at Kurmitola General Hospital, 3 at CMH
A total of 10 Bangladeshi citizens, who arrived in Dhaka from Wuhan, China with 302 other Bangladeshis on Saturday morning, have been taken to two hospitals in Dhaka.
Among them, seven were taken to Kurmitola General Hospital and three were taken to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka, said a press release from Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
They will be under observation at the hospital, where health officials are going to run tests in order to determine whether they have been infected with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), said Dr Meerjadi Sabrina Flora, director at IEDCR.
It will take two or three days to determine if they are infected. They were taken to the hospitals as they were running fever.
A team of Bangladesh Army and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) is ready to take necessary steps if anyone is found to be infected, and a team of IEDCR is ready to collect samples of the virus, the press statement said.
Meanwhile, Kurmitola General Hospital, the Infectious Diseases Hospital and Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital have been prepared to combat any possible situation of coronavirus infections, the statement further added.
The rest of the returnees have been located to Ashkona Hajj camp in Dakkhinkhan, Dhaka, accompanied by four medical teams to observe them for a period of 14 days.
The IEDCR director requested family members of the returnees not to panic, and not to gather at the the Dhaka airport and the Hajj Camp areas.
IEDCR Principal Scientific Officer Dr ASM Alamgir urged the media to highlight the matter so that parents do not gather near the quarantine areas in Ashkona.
“The quarantine method requires isolation of the affected people, and to keep people who have chances of getting infected together, but away from the masses,” he added.
As many families are already gathering in the Ashkona area, it affects the quarantine process, he said.
Earlier on Saturday, a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines brought back 316 Bangladeshi citizens stranded in Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Among the returnees, 312 were returnees from China, including three infants, and four were physicians who were sent from Bangladesh.
They were moved to Ashkona Hajj camp from the airport in eight BRTC buses, under the supervision of the DGHS and army officials.
The coronavirus epidemic has killed 259 people, all in China, according to the country's National Health Commission on Saturday. The disease had infected 11,781 people in China till Friday, the commission added, reports Reuters.
More than 100 cases have been reported outside China, in 22 countries.
‘Better to stay in China’
Md Kawser and Molla Mohammad Reza, students at Qinzhou University expected to return to Bangladesh due to the coronavirus outbreak, have expressed their dismay at the newly-enforced containment protocols.
Hearing of the mass quarantine initiative at Ashkona Hajj Camp, they said it might be better to stay in China, where medical facilities are much more advanced.
Bangladeshi students at Qinzhou University reached out to Dhaka Tribune over Facebook messenger.
Meanwhile, the university’s vacation was scheduled to end on February 23 but an “indefinite holiday” has been announced until further notice in order to contain the coronavirus, said the students, who are expected to return home soon.
The students, in lockdown in the university, said they were surviving on bread, milk and biscuits as the university authorities had been avoiding “cooked” food.
Another student, Fahad Bin Aziz, a student of computer science at Qinzhou University, arrived in Dhaka on January 19.
“Medical examinations are being conducted twice a day on all students – local and foreign –at the university which is in total lockdown since the outbreak,” he said.