The Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) on Sunday urged people not to travel abroad unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. The advisory was issued because of concerns over the coronavirus outbreak in China and in other countries.
"Travellers should follow precautions while traveling abroad because the number of coronavirus patients outside China has increased alarmingly," IEDCR Director Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora said in a press briefing held in the capital's Mohakhali area.
The precautions for travellers are to avoid close contact with people suffering from COVID-19, avoid handshakes and hugs, and avoid public gatherings and market places, she added.
Prof Sabrina Flora also said that tests done on coronavirus patients outside China reveal that these patients had not been to China and had not had close contact with infected people. The source of their infection is therefore unknown.
"The World Health Organisation has termed the coronavirus and influenza outbreak as critical because its source is unknown," she said
IEDCR thinks COVID19 can enter Bangladesh only through people returning from abroad. So, it urges everyone to be cautious while traveling abroad.
As many as 291,126 passengers entered Bangladesh through air, sea and land ports till February 23. The IEDCR has collected samples from 79 of them on the suspicion that they might have the coronavirus.
However, no cases of coronavirus have been detected in Bangladesh yet.