Several nations have suspended flight operations with China due to the severity of coronavirus infection in the country. Besides, different countries, including Britain, Australia and the US, have quarantined all passengers coming from China.
However, Bangladesh has still maintained flight operations to and from China and has been putting anyone coming from there with fever or symptoms of it into quarantine. Thermal scanner machines are being used on people arriving from China.
Meanwhile, a Bangladeshi student from China was hospitalised on his return from China on Thursday after he was diagnosed with fever by a thermal scanner machine.
Experts said the incubation period of the coronavirus is 14 days. So people can be affected by a coronavirus infected person during the 14-day period. That is why if the suspects are quarantined, there will remain no risk of their infecting others.
Different countries across the world have decided to keep returnees from China quarantined for between three days and two weeks.
A CNBC report said Australian and UK citizens repatriated from coronavirus-hit Wuhan are to be quarantined for up to two weeks. The move was announced by the governments of both countries on Wednesday.
This follows a similar move by the French government, which said on Sunday that its citizens would spend 14 days in quarantine upon their return from the Wuhan area.
Those departing Wuhan city and Hubei province in China on any flight arranged by the Australian government will be flown to Christmas Island, where they will stay for up to 14 days as a condition of their assisted departure. According to the government announcement, just over 600 Australians are currently in the area at the center of the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has decided to quarantine passengers from China having any symptoms of coronavirus, including fever and cough.
Shahriar Sajjad, health officer of the Health Center at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, told The Business Standard, "Quarantine is not necessary if one does not suffer from fever. If any passenger returning from China has fever, respiratory problems or any other symptoms is being quarantined at Kurmitola Hospital after observation."
He added that the authorities had so far quarantined only one passenger, after he was diagnosed with 106-degree fever, by a thermal scanner machine.
"Besides, other passengers are being provided with a hotline number and advised to stay self-quarantined at home," he told The Business Standard.
Passenger from China taken to hospital for test
A Bangladeshi student returning from China has been admitted to Kurmitola General Hospital in the capital on Thursday upon showing early symptoms of coronavirus.
The passenger arrived in Bangladesh on Wednesday night. The airport's thermal scanner detected that he had high body temperature. The health center officials took blood samples from him on Thursday morning and sent him to the hospital.
Health Officer Shahriar Sajjad said, "We have sent the passenger to hospital because of some early symptoms of coronavirus. Further examination at the hospital can confirm the matter."
Speaking at a workshop on coronavirus at the Milon Hall of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Thursday, Dr Robed Amin, an associate professor of medicine at the medical college, said, "Novel Corona is a new virus. It has a pandemic potential which means it can spread across the world."
He said it is a fast spreading disease which affects many people through a single infected person. "That is why people affected by the virus have been kept at a single hospital instead of separate hospitals. Otherwise, the virus may spread to others from hospitals."
Addressing the workshop, Health Minister Zahid Malik said, "At this moment, no one is being allowed to enter the country without screening. Screening machines have been set up at all entrances at the airport for flight passengers entering the country."
He added that an isolation cabin has been readied at Kurmitola General Hospital adjacent to the airport and coronavirus instruction guides have been kept for all passengers at the airport.
"A hotline mobile number has been kept for any emergency. So, we do not have any reason to panic about coronavirus at this moment. The government is well-prepared to handle the coronavirus issue."
Everyday around 600 passengers on three flights arrive in Bangladesh from China. They are allowed to go after being checked by thermal scanners.
Prof Dr Sanya Tahmina, additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services, said only people diagnosed as having fever by thermal scanners are being quarantined.
After screening by thermal scanners, passengers of all flights are provided with health cards containing a hotline number of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, she added.
Prof Dr Sanya Tahmina said, "They (passengers) have been advised to communicate on the hotline number if they have any symptoms within 14 days after their return home."