Eight Bangladeshi nationals who returned from Wuhan city in China amid the coronavirus outbreak, are in good health at two hospitals in Dhaka.
Seven of the suspected coronavirus patients are being treated at the Kurmitola General Hospital, while the eighth is at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH).
Kurmitola General Hospital's Director Brig General Jamilur Reza told The Business Standard, "All seven suspected patients are doing well. They do not have fever or any other physical issues. We are treating them in isolation.
"The ICDDR,B collected samples from those patients right after they were admitted to the hospital on Saturday. As soon as the test results are in, we will decide whether to keep them at the hospital or shift them somewhere else."
Meanwhile, Health Minister Zahid Malik said that all the Bangladeshis – quarantined at Ashkona Hajj Camp after returning from China – are also doing well. He added that no person infected with the coronavirus has not been found in Bangladesh.
At a press briefing on Sunday at the secretariat, the minister said, "The Bangladeshi nationals are being kept at the Hajj Camp under government management. They are doing well, but they will be kept under observation."
"A pregnant woman who decided to get treatment at the CMH, is also in good health."
The minister added that it will take 14 days to confirm any possible coronavirus infection among those currently quarantined, and that their relatives will not be allowed to visit them during this period.
Land, sea ports take cautionary measures
Under the Ministry of Shipping, land and sea ports including the Chattogram, Mongla, Payra and Benapole seaports have introduced cautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Chattogram, Mongla and Payra ports have implemented a two-tier system – thermal and quarantine tests. Authorities have also made it mandatory for captains and agents to make a declaration regarding coronavirus infection as soon as a ship arrives at the outer anchorage.
A ship's master must declare to the port authorities that the vessel has no coronavirus patients on-board. All sailors in ships arriving from East Asian countries will only get permission to enter port after the port health officer declares them "safe" through scanning.
Ambulance ships have been deployed in ports to quickly shift patients from a ship to a hospital. A medical team will also be on standby under the supervision of the port health officer at the immigration desk of a port
Any sailor attempting to leave the port area will have to go through medical screening.
Port authorities have also instructed people to use masks and other preventive methods as part of the cautionary measures. Chinese citizens working in Chattogram, Mongla and Payra ports are being denied leave-of-absence to visit China.
Those who are on leave in China have been advised not to return to work in Bangladesh. An awareness raising programme has also been launched for people working on ships. Similar measures have been implemented in land-ports such as Benapole.
This was revealed at a meeting on the implementation of the ministry's Annual Development Program at the shipping ministry on Sunday.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury presided over the meeting, while Shipping Secretary Md Abdus Samad and chiefs of departments and organisations concerned were present, among others.