Monday, February 24, 2020 | ePaper

Adequate precaution must be taken before Bangladeshis are sent back

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BREAKOUT of little known Coronavirus has killed 56 people across the region, while 2000 others have been infected. The death toll and the number of infected people are increasing every hour that trigger panic and enforced the Chinese authorities to segregate infected-city communication. Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Saturday that China faced a grave situation as authorities raced to contain a respiratory illness that has caused the widespread abandonment of Lunar New Year celebrations nationwide and overwhelmed health facilities in Hubei.
The contagion remained centred on the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, which accounted for seven of the new deaths and 46 of the new confirmed cases. Wuhan and more than a dozen other cities in the province have been locked down in a rapidly expanding quarantine despite the effort marked by transport shutdowns and other restrictions on movement. The previously unknown virus has caused global concern because of its similarity to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) pathogen, which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a pandemic as more countries report cases. Confirmed cases have so far been announced in Europe, North America and several Asian countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that the respiratory illness, which has been traced to the city of Wuhan, is an emergency in China but the organization said on Thursday it was too early to declare it a public health emergency of international concern.
As Bangladesh has a strong business relation with China, Chinese people work in several construction sites and many nationals visit China regularly, the government should ban travel with China. The government should open quarantine in the Airport and all other entry points to check the infection in all incoming people. If the Coronavirus enters Bangladesh, it would be devastating for the country's public health.
We are worried and deeply concerned about Bangladeshis going to be sent back to Bangladesh. Before they are sent back the government of China must make sure they are not carrying the disease to Bangladesh. For them to come to Bangladesh does not necessarily make their lives  safe if they are already contaminated by Coronavirus  which can remain undetected for up to two weeks.


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