Hajj pilgrims to undergo tests at ZIA on return
Hajj pilgrims returning to Bangladesh will undergo swine flu screenings at Zia International Airport after four people died and several others contracted the virus in Saudi Arabia.
The National Influenza Centre of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) will assist the health department in implementing the screening programme, which will begin from December 2.
The first case of swine flu in Bangladesh was detected on June 18.
Since then six people have died and 806 people have become infected, according to IEDCR figures.
Airports in Bangladesh conducted swine flu screenings on incoming passengers until November 1, when the number of confirmed cases in the country reduced.
However the IEDCR and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) estimate that 1.35 lakh people have fallen ill with the H1N1 pandemic in urban Dhaka and 3.21 lakh in rural areas of the country.
The World Health Organisation has recorded 6,750 deaths worldwide.
Yesterday the IEDCR also announced it would establish health centres in Tongi in the lead up to Biswa Ijtema which starts on January 21.
Biswa Ijtema is the second largest congregation of Muslims after the hajj and attracts around 2 million devotees from around the world.
Health authorities in Dhaka and Gazipur will be responsible for screening attendees as well as conducting awareness campaigns.
An isolation ward at Tongi Hospital will be set up to treat victims of swine flu during the Ijtema period.