Virus-infected couple flees Dhaka ‘for the sake of daughter’

A young couple who tested positive for coronavirus in Dhaka was detained in Rajbari on Friday afternoon when they were travelling towards their village home in Kushtia, reports news agency UNB.

Tafiqul Islam, 31, a taxi driver from Daulatpur upazila, and his wife Shilpiara Khatun, 25, were later sent to a hospital in Kushtia.

While talking to UNB over phone, Tafiqul said he and his wife Shilpi caught fever recently but got cured few days later.

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When his employer, a physician of Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital, came to know about their fever, he asked Tafiqul to go through a medical test for coronavirus.

He was found to be infected with the novel virus in a test at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on 21 April.

Later, he got her wife and five-year-old daughter tested and found the wife positive for the virus on 23 April.

Tafiqul also said despite being tested positive, he and his wife did not develop any symptom like that of coronavirus and are apparently in sound health.

Asked why he was travelling towards Kushtia, he told the news agency that they took the decision for the sake of their only daughter. "Who will take care of her (daughter) if our condition deteriorates?" he said.

Starting for Kushtia at 7:00am, they reached Paturia-Daulatdia Ghat in Rajbari around 5:00pm.

At one stage, police waylaid them and asked about their destination.

During the interrogation, they disclosed the actual situation they are in and requested the law enforcers to let them go.

For a while, the policemen found themselves in a fix as the authorities from both Rajbari and Kushtia refused to welcome the two COVID-19 patients in their respective districts. When they tried to push the couple back to Dhaka, they declined to go to Dhaka.

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HM Anwarul Islam, civil surgeon of Kushtia, said, “We can’t welcome two COVID-19 patients in the district and asked the authorities at Rajbarai to send them back.”

After around three hours of bargaining between the authorities of the two districts, AKM Sarwar Jaham Badsha, MP of Kushtia-1, played the role of a mediator.

Nurul Islam, civil surgeon of Rajbari, said after a long discussion between deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and civil surgeons of the two districts, the couple was taken to the isolation unit of a Kushtia hospital.

Kustia civil surgeon Anwar confirmed the matter, saying the couple reached there around 9:00pm.