The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh has instructed all flights from China to park at bay 15 of the Dhaka airport while passengers were instructed to disembark separately as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, officials said. “We have instructed the airport authorities so that the airlines flying to and from China could be isolated,” CAAB chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman told the media.
He also said China Southern and Eastern airlines already decreased their flight frequencies from China while the passengers from Bangladesh were very few. The US-Bangla Airlines adviser captain Sikder Mesbahuddin Ahmed said they were already asked to use bay-15 for their aircraft used on Dhaka-Guangzhou route.
He said the passengers from China were higher than those flying to China and mostly Bangladeshi passengers were returning. “We will continue our flights until we are asked to shut down and we believe the passengers will remember us for our services,” he said, adding, “We are maintaining the WHO prescription and providing sanitisers and masks for the passengers.”
The CAAB chairman said they already made it mandatory for all airlines to follow World Health Organization-prescribed medical screening for their passengers and asked to submit their report to the immigration in Dhaka. A voluntary and charitable organisation Law and Life Foundation, meanwhile, issued a legal notice to the secretaries for health, foreign, home and civil aviation and tourism affairs, director general of health services, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University vice-chancellor and directors of ICDDR,B and Dhaka Medical College Hospital to take immediate steps across the country, including but not limited to special measures, at airports, land ports, seaports and hospitals.
The legal notice signed by Supreme Court lawyers Mohammad Humaun Kabir Pallob and Mohammed Kawsar read ‘It is also necessary to make available of sufficient numbers of masks and other relevant equipment and accessories to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Bangladesh.’
The notice served through registered post with acknowledgement and email urged the recipients to take measures within 48 hours, or, in case of failure, to face legal proceedings. Our correspondent in Rangpur, meanwhile, reported that no coronavirus was detected after screening a China-returnee student at Rangpur Medical College Hospital.
A team of medical boards comprising twelve physicians led by professor Debendra Nath, head of medicine department at RMCH, examined him and later at a press conference at the hospital said that he was not infected. Debendra Nath also said, ‘We sent his blood, saliva and cough to the IEDCR, Dhaka. We will take necessary measures for treatment soon after receiving the test report.
The patient was a student of an engineering university in china and reached the country on January 29. He was hospitalised after he came down with fever at his Domar residence on February 1. Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research director Meerjady Sabrina Flora at a press conference requested the media to maintain the privacy of the patients otherwise his or her security would be hampered.
Since January 21, the IEDCR was screening passengers of flights from China.
The novel coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, has infected more than 37,200 people globally and claimed 800 lives reports Agence France-Presse. Since the first cases were reported, the virus has spread across 25 countries.
The World Health Organization declared global emergency over the new virus.