As cases of local coronavirus transmissions have recently been reported in Singapore, Bangladesh will begin screening passengers arriving from the country to prevent the spread of the new virus through air travel.
"We will monitor flights from Singapore with the same importance as those of China," Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control & Research (IEDCR) said while briefing reporters on Monday.
The move comes in the wake of a Bangladeshi worker in Singapore getting infected by coronavirus.
A 39-year-old male Bangladeshi who has been working in Singapore for the last one and half years caught the virus on Sunday, said Meerjady, quoting the Bangladesh High Commission in Singapore.
This is the first case of a coronavirus infection for any Bangladeshi national.
The construction worker tested positive when he went to a hospital with an ailment. But they could not know any further details about him, she added.
Singaporeans who had not travelled to Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, are now getting infected there. It raises concerns that Bangladeshi people, who frequently go to Singapore for treatment and holiday purposes, might catch the virus.
Replying to a question, the IEDCR director said, "We have not found any evidence that pet animals transmit novel coronavirus. However, all have been asked to stay away from sick animals."
The 314 Bangladeshis who returned from Wuhan on February 1 have been quarantined at the Askona Hajj camp and at the Combined Military Hospital.
They will be kept in isolation till the two-week incubation period for the novel coronavirus ends on February 15, she said.
"As per our primary decision, they will be able to return home on February 16. If they face any health issues after they return home, they have been told to contact us."
A China-returnee student who is undergoing treatment at the Rangpur Medical College Hospital with respiratory problems has tested negative for coronavirus, said Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora.
Another student who returned from China has also been quarantined. He has no symptoms of the virus but he is suffering from kidney disease. He has been kept in isolation only because he returned from China.
According to the IEDCR, a total of 26,522 passengers have been screened at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport since January 21 till on Monday. But the authorities have not found any coronavirus-infected patients as of yet.