All inbound passengers to be screened

The authority concerned decided to bring all inbound international passengers under thermal scanning to check the spread of the mysterious coronavirus in the country.

The Civil Aviation Authority Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman M Mafidur Rahman discussed the issue at a meeting at the airport on Sunday. During the meeting, additional director of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), immigration officers, high officials of CAAB, representatives of all airliners, customs and other concerned were present.

HSIA director AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan has confirmed this to Bangladesh Post. He said, “We are continuously observing the rising threat of coronavirus. Today we had a meeting chaired by our chairman M Mafidur Rahman to discuss issues on what we further need.”

Based on the meeting it was learned that CAAB chairman from now on has advised using hand sanitizer, musk, and gloves. After passenger departure, the waste of the aircraft will be disposed of as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline. At the same time, the aircraft will also be disinfected.

As per the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) flight schedule, it was learned that China Southern, China Western, US-Bangla, and Dragon Air are carrying passengers from China which is strictly monitored by the government.

However, more passengers from China is entering the country through other air carriers. A source on condition of anonymity said that a few of the passengers have tried to enter the country travelling on different airlines to escape being examined at the airports. They have claimed, at least four to five other airliners are transporting international passengers through transit.

On Saturday, at least 16 Bangladeshi students have entered the country from China through Himalayan Flight via Thailand. They willingly disclosed about their presence in China to the airport health officer.

Airport information showed, the authority concerned is strictly monitoring those passengers who are coming through the above mentioned four airliners, however, other passengers are remaining out of scanning at the airport.

From January 21 to February 2 morning, a total of 5,546 both Chinese and Bangladeshi citizens returned from China.
Meanwhile, to prevent the spread of deadly coronavirus infection through sea routes in the country the government asked all ports to scan people disembarking from foreign vessels, especially from East Asia.

The authority concerned has implemented temperature screening besides quarantine facility at all the sea checkpoints. Besides, the government is constantly reviewing the situation and will do the needful.

Immediately entering the outer anchorage, ship captain and the respective agent must have to make the declaration that the ship is out of danger and no infected sailor is on the ship.

As per the directives, ship crew arriving at sea checkpoints will undergo temperature screening conducted by on-site healthcare assistants. Suspect cases will be referred to the hospitals for further assessment.

State minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury came up with these ascertains while presiding over a review meeting on implementation of Annual Development Projects (ADP) as chief guest at his secretariat office in the capital on Sunday.

As per the meeting decision, it was decided that Chinese people working now at the ports will not be allowed taking leave to visit their country. On the other hand, those who are on leave are being discouraged to return. People working at different ports are being made aware of the virus.

On the other hand, with the guidance and assistance of the Ministry of Health, measures are being taken at the Benapole port as well as other land ports.
The meeting also informed that only after being declared safe through scanning by port health officer, captain and sailors will be allowed access to the port. If anyone falls sick further, ‘Ambulance Ship’ has been kept ready to transfer the patient to the hospital. At the port immigration desk, a medical team led by the port health office will continue to monitor the situation.

In addition, all are advised to use masks and other preventive measures as part of the precautionary measures.
The state minister about the ADP implementation said, “There are always challenges for implementing any work, we have to be more cautious so that we can complete our projects within the scheduled time”.

During the meeting, ministry senior secretary Md Abdus Samad, along with concerned officials and department heads were also present.