Coronavirus Outbreak

Govt considering temporary travel ban to and from China

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

The Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport authorities have set a health screening station with thermal scanner as a step to curb spreading of SARS-like coronavirus. 21 January 2020. Photo: Dipu Malakar

Health and family welfare minister Zahid Maleque on Sunday said the government is considering a temporary ban on travel to and from China as a precautionary measure in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus, reports UNB.

"The trade relations between Bangladesh and China are very deep and many people travel to China for business purposes. It might be the reason of a big loss if the deadly virus enters the country in any way," he said while speaking at an emergency meeting at the ministry.

The minister said an inter-ministerial meeting will be held on Tuesday (28 Jan) where the issue of imposing a temporary on the travel to and from China will be considered with importance.

The emergency meeting discussed the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.

Zahid Maleque inquired about the number of affected people and the countries, and severity of the outbreak.

He also urged people not to be worried over the spread of coronavirus as the government has taken steps to prevent its outbreak in Bangladesh.

The director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) informed the meeting that thermal scanning is in place in all the airports, land ports and river ports of the country.

In this file photo taken on 22 January, 2020 passengers wear protective masks to protect against the spread of the Coronavirus as they arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport, California. Photo: AFPSome 56 people have so far died from the virus in China.

At the end of Saturday in China, there were 1975 cases and a further 2,684 suspected cases, China's National Health Commission said.

In the outbreak of coronavirus in China and globally, Chinese officials have restricted transport in at least 13 cities apart from the virus epicentre, Wuhan, locking down close to 56 million nationals.

The virus itself is a new or "novel" coronavirus - a family that normally affects animals.

One human variant causes the common cold, but another, Sars, killed hundreds in a major outbreak in 2003.

This new virus causes severe acute respiratory infection. Symptoms seem to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough and then, after a week, lead to shortness of breath and some patients needing hospital treatment.

There is no specific cure or vaccine for it.

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