Authorities on alert to tackle China mystery virus

In a preventive measure, all airports and land ports authorities are made prepared to tackle the Coronavirus (CoV) as all passengers and shipments coming especially from China, are being screened in the wake of the outbreak. Officials concerned said, they will conduct two types of checking to identify such Influenza-like Illnesses (ILI).

Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) director Touhid-ul-Ahsan confirming the matter told The Bangladesh Post that, they held an emergency meeting where, health ministry officials, WHO representatives and other officials were present. As per the meeting, they will use both informal and physical scanning to identify the syndrome.

He said, “We are keeping a form at the fight, where we ask every passenger about their physical health and which five countries they have visited last. After arrival at the airport, this will help us to know, whether they have visited China or not. On the other hand, at the airport gate, there is a thermal detector archway, which allows the body temperature of a passenger to detect if he or she is carrying a virus”. “We have been also asked to isolate and transport sick passengers (if identified) coming from abroad with cough, fever, and breathlessness to nearby Kurmitola Hospital” he added.

When asked whether any alert has been sounded on screening passengers for the virus at HSIA, officials said they are yet to get any alert from airport health officials. Earlier On January 15, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) issued an alert to all the entry points across the country. It stated that screening facilities have been arranged for passengers coming from China, adding that instructions have been given to ensure that all passengers from China are checked for signs of the new infection with a fever measuring machine.

This virus is known to cause illnesses from the common cold to more severe ones such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Following the outbreak of the virus in China, the World Health Organization issued an advisory.

It said, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. This nCoV has not been previously identified in humans”. “Much remains to be understood about the new Coronavirus. Not enough is known about the 2019-nCoV to draw definitive conclusions about how it is transmitted, clinical features of the disease and the extent to which it has spread. The source also remains unknown”, it added.

BBC reported that China has reported 139 new cases of a mysterious virus in two days, with the outbreak spreading from Wuhan to other major Chinese cities. Beijing, the capital, reported two cases, while the southern tech hub of Shenzhen reported one case. The total number of confirmed cases now exceeds 200, and three have died from respiratory illness.

Although the outbreak is believed to have originated from a market, officials and scientists are yet to determine exactly how it has been spreading. South Korea reported its first confirmed case of the virus on Monday, followed by two in Thailand and one in Japan.