• Thursday, Jan 21, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:56 am

Dhaka suspends flights to stop Bangladeshis from returning home

  • Published at 07:28 pm March 15th, 2020
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen
File photo of Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh has decided to impose a ban on travelers from all European countries except the UK till March 31, beginning Sunday midnight

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said that Dhaka is forced to halt all flights to and from coronavirus affected countries because Bangladeshi expatriates are entering the country ignoring the government’s advice.

“So far what we observed, the virus entered our country from outside …. we can’t put our 16 crore people in danger for a few of them (Bangladeshis returning here). We have limited resources to tackle the situation if it gets worse,” he said.

“Our core responsibility is to protect our people,” he added.

The government had previously requested Bangladeshis abroad not to come to Bangladesh until the coronavirus situation improves, he said. “But they didn’t listen to us… so we were forced to shut down flights from different countries.”

Momen also expressed disappointment with some expatriate Bangladeshis who were reluctant to be quarantined after arriving here on Saturday, reports BSS.

Bangladesh has decided to impose a ban on travelers from all European countries except the UK till March 31, beginning Sunday midnight, after detecting two new coronavirus positive cases on Saturday.

The foreign minister said only those who had not visited countries severely hit by coronavirus in the last 28 days will be allowed to travel to Bangladesh from the UK in the next 14 days.

Citing the World Health Organization’s declaration of Europe as the new centre point of coronavirus spread, he said the government had to take this difficult step to protect its citizens from the outbreak.

The ban will also affect countries for which Bangladesh’s borders are already restricted, including India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar.

Momen also said the issuing of all on-arrival visas has also been suspended for the same period.

The foreign minister said that of the five coronavirus infected persons in Bangladesh, three came from Italy and one from Germany. The other person got infected while staying with one of the four infected returnees.

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