Over 2,000 people tested for coronavirus in Bangladesh

Travellers at land ports and seaports were also being screened, Health Minister Zahid Maleque told to reporters.

By Author  |  Published: 27th Jan 2020  1:16 pmUpdated: 27th Jan 2020  1:17 pm

Dhaka: Bangladesh authorities have tested over 2,000 travellers from China for the deadly novel coronavirus that has killed 80 people in the Asian giant, but no one was found infected, a media report said.

Like other countries across the globe, Bangladesh has been screening travellers from China at airports since January 21.

Travellers at land ports and seaports were also being screened, Health Minister Zahid Maleque told bdnews24.com on Sunday.

“We’ve strengthened workforce at these ports. We’ll be able to detect any coronavirus infection,” he added.

At Dhaka’s Shahjalal International Airport, Health Officer Md Shahriar Sazzad said they screened a total of 2,190 passengers from China until Sunday.

However, dense population has made Bangladesh vulnerable to an outbreak of the new virus if any infected person or animal enters the country, said Kabirul Bashar, who teaches zoology at the Jahangirngar University.

“Animals don’t have borders. No one will be able to stop an infected animal from crossing borders. Now the date juice season is underway. The virus can transmit through bats drinking date juice.

“Besides these, people in our country don’t maintain necessary personal and civic hygiene. They spit at random on the streets,” he added.

Professor ABM Abdullah, a former dean of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University’s medicine department, said prevention “is very much necessary” as there is no vaccine or specific treatment for the new virus.

In South Asia, Nepal has reported one confirmed case, Pakistan has five suspected cases, while there has been no confirmations from India and Sri Lanka.