• Wednesday, Dec 08, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:09 am

Regular flights may be suspended again if Covid-19 situation worsens

  • Published at 10:35 pm April 1st, 2021
plane-flight-airport
Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh resumed international flights in June last year after around three months of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Bangladesh is considering suspending all regular flights if the Covid-19 situation deteriorates further.

For the time being, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), the regulatory body for all aviation related activities in the country, has decided to stop giving permits to all special flights to and from Dhaka.

CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman said CAAB had already instructed all airlines to follow the health guidelines.

“A wide-bodied aircraft will carry no more than 260 passengers and a narrow-bodied or single-aisle aircraft no more than 140 passengers. But the number of passengers on domestic flights will not be reduced now,” he added.

Any airline that violated the directives would be fined and face flight cancellation, he stated.

“All airports have sufficient on-duty physicians and health equipment. We now need the passengers’ cooperation,” the CAAB chairman said.

Twenty-five airlines currently operate flights to and from Bangladesh, according to  CAAB. Around 4,500 and 6,000 passengers enter and leave Bangladesh every day, in that order.

Strict measures

According to CAAB, all incoming passengers are required to undergo a Covid-19 test regardless of their vaccination status.

The passengers will be monitored and traced by the police and the local administration after being released from quarantine.

Moreover, if a passenger fails to adhere to the directives, his or her passport will be confiscated by the authorities concerned.

Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman said passengers coming from the United Kingdom would not be required to be institutionally quarantined as they carried RT-PCR test certificates, but they must remain isolated at home.

As a precautionary measure, CAAB has also asked the airlines to enforce necessary hygiene rules both inside and outside an aircraft.

Dr Mohammad Shahidullah, head of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, said post-vaccination surveillance was a good step to trace expatriates who returned to Bangladesh since passengers could spread the virus even if they did not show any symptoms of the disease.

It may be recalled that Bangladesh resumed international flights in June last year after around three months of suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bangladesh has been witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths for the last few days.

On Thursday, the country recorded the highest number of cases in a single day (6,469) since the outbreak of the pandemic in March last year.

At the same time, 59 new deaths from Covid-19 were also recorded across the country – the highest single-day fatalities in nine months.

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