Maleque urges expatriates not to return home without emergency

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DHAKA, Mar 12, 2020 (BSS) – Health Minister Zahid Maleque today urged
Bangladeshi expatriates not to return home without any emergency as the
coronavirus outbreak has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health
Organization (WHO).

“It would be good if they (the Bangladeshi expatriates) do not return home
now. They have no need to return home without any emergency. If they return
home, they must be put in quarantines,” he told a function at the Secretariat

The function was arranged to hand over five thermal scanners, donated by
Summit Group, to the government so that passengers could be scanned at ports.

About the three patients infected with coronavirus, Maleque said two of
them have already attained recovery and they will be released anytime.

“All the people, who were put in quarantines, are not sick. After
examining health of two persons taken into quarantines, no symptom of
coronavirus was found,” he said.

Noting that the government is always alert about coronavirus, the health
minister said all necessary measures have already been taken to tackle the
deadly virus.

He said 10 new scanners will be installed at Chattogram and Sylhet
airports, Chattogram seaport and Benapole land port.

“We had a shortage of scanners at our airports in the past, but now we
have enough scanners. We submitted an order letter two months ago for five
scanners. And we got the scanners last week. Today, Summit Group gave us five
scanners. That’s why we have no shortage of scanners,” he said.

Maleque said when a person returns home from abroad, the authorities
concerned are tracking him or her and sending the person to quarantine.

“Besides, we have been following up with them. If they fall sick, they are
being sent to hospitals…but no case of coronavirus infection is identified
yet,” he added.

Replying to a question, the health minister said 10 doctors and 30 nurses
were deployed at airports and “we have already opened four ‘help desks’
there”. “If necessary, we will open more help desks,” he added.

Health Secretary Md Asadul Islam, Summit Group Vice-Chairman Md Latif Khan
and Summit Group Director Aziza Aziz Khan, among others, were present.