The government yesterday declared a 90-day surveillance period to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from entering the country.
The virus recently spread in some West African countries and killed at least 961 people, according to World Health Organization (WHO).
As part of precautions, medical teams would monitor the international airports in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet and also the seaport in Chittagong during the 90-day period, said a health ministry statement yesterday.
The decisions on the matter were taken in a ministry meeting chaired by Health Minister Mohammad Nasim yesterday.
The meeting also formed a committee headed by Health Secretary MM Neazuddin to oversee the surveillance activities, according to the statement.
A 20-bed medical ward would be set up at Kurmitola General Hospital in the capital to treat anyone affected by the deadly virus, said Prof Mahmudur Rahman, director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research ,also a member of the committee.
“The medical teams will advise the people coming from the West African countries to contact the hospital, if necessary,” he told The Daily Star.
Prof Mahmudur Rahman said the countries where the virus has spread are already screening the people going to other countries as per the WHO guidelines, but Bangladesh government took the steps as additional cautionary measures.
He said Bangladesh is a low-risk country for Ebola, as there is no direct air links between Bangladesh and the countries affected by the virus.
Meanwhile, the health minister has also urged people not to panic, but to stay cautious.
WHO recently declared the spread of Ebola virus as an international health emergency in the West African countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.
There have been 1,779 cases of Ebola among which 961 deaths have been caused.
Ebola kills up to 90% of those infected. It spreads by contact with infected blood, bodily fluids, organs - or contaminated environments.
Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external haemorrhaging from areas like eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure.
Meanwhile, Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) said, in a statement, all UN peacekeepers including Bangladeshis staying in the West African countries were out of Ebola infection.