Quarantined China returnees can go home this Saturday: Health Minister
08:00 PM, February 13, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:35 PM, February 13, 2020

Quarantined China returnees can go home this Saturday: Health Minister

The 312 Bangladeshis returning from the Chinese city of Wuhan can go home on Saturday upon completion of a 14-day quarantine in Ashkona Hajj Camp, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said today.

"All of the returnees from China are in the last stage of quarantine period. They would be able to leave the camp on Saturday following health check-ups," the minister said this while he was speaking at an event at a conference center in Dhaka.

On February 1, 312 Bangladeshis who had been stranded in Wuhan -- the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak -- were flown back to the country in a chartered flight arranged by the government and were kept quarantined in Ashkona Hajj Camp.

The world Health Organization (WHO) has named the virus Covid-19.

After landing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), eight of the returnees were sent to hospital as they had high body temperature.

Later, all of them were tested coronavirus negative by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

So far, three quarantined returnees were also sent to hospital from Ashkona camp due to high body temperature. They were also announced clear of infection by the IEDCR.

The minister in his speech also urged people not to panic and stay aware in this regard.

"Nobody inside the country has been infected so far. Medical admission [of any Chinese returnee does not necessarily mean coronavirus infection. We should not say it's coronavirus infection until it is proven through test. Otherwise, it creates panic," the minister said.

He urged journalists to come forward to prevent panic.

Meanwhile, IEDCR in a press release informed that the health condition of two infected Bangladeshis in Singapore is stable.

Emerged in Wuhan, situated in China's central province of Hubei on December 31, the deadly virus has killed more than 1,355 in mainland China.

Health officials of Hubei reported yesterday that 242 more died from COVID-19 as of Wednesday -- the highest in a single day and more than twice the previous record high.

The province's health commission also reported a huge jump in new cases, saying a further 14,840 people had been confirmed with the infection over the 24-hour period to midnight on Wednesday.

Out of China, the Covid-19 has spread to at least 25 countries infecting more than 60,000 people.

Two deaths have been recorded outside mainland China -- one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines so far.

Among the neighboring countries, India and Nepal has reported Covid-19 infection.

Bangladesh government has also stepped up screening in all entry points to prevent the virus from entering the country.

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