Bangladesh has announced a ban on on-arrival visas from all countries in view of the Corona virus threat. Travellers from all European countries except UK and other countries which have imposed ban on travel from Bangladesh have also been banned from arrival in the country till March 31.
Foreign Minister Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen told media on Saturday evening that the decision has been taken to protect the citizens of Bangladesh as WHO has declared Europe as the epicentre of the Corona virus. He said that the ban will be imposed both on foreigners and the Bangladeshi nationals. However, cargo flights will continue to arrive.
Passenger train services to and from Bangladesh to India have already been suspended in view of restrictions imposed by India on foreign travellers. Movement of passengers from the land port has also been suspended. However, operation of freight trains and import-export through land port will continue.
In the meanwhile, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said at a press briefing on Saturday night that two new cases of Corona virus positive persons have been detected in Bangladesh. One of the persons had returned from Germany while the other had come back from Italy. Three persons earlier infected with Corona virus are now free of infection.
A fresh batch of 152 Bangladeshi nationals arrived from Italy on Sunday. After initial testing they have been taken to the Ashkona Hajj Camp near the airport. Another batch of 59 returnees arriving from Italy was sent to a quarantine centre in Dhaka.
The earlier batch of 142 persons returning from Italy on Saturday have been allowed to undergo ‘home-quarantine’ after there were protests by these persons at the Ashkona Hajj Camp in Dhaka against the quarantine at the government facility. DG of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Abul Kalam Azad told media that the returnees were allowed to go home because they showed no symptom of Corona virus infection. He said as of now, home quarantine is the best method for curtailing spread of Corona virus.
23 Bangladeshi students brought back from Hubei province of China by India also returned to Dhaka from Delhi on Saturday after undergoing 2 week long quarantine in India.
In a bid to evolve a strong strategy to combat Corona virus threat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a video conference on Sunday evening with the SAARC leaders in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh will also participate.