The flight was carrying 304 Bangladeshi passengers, including 95 from European countries
Defying their own ban in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the authorities in Dhaka on Monday allowed a Qatar Airways flight from Europe to land at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
The flight carrying 304 Bangladeshi passengers, including 95 from European countries, landed at the airport around 6:50pm. Of the 95 passengers, 68 were from Italy and the rest from other countries, including Germany.
Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, chairman of Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB), said the flight was allowed to land on humanitarian grounds.
The government on Saturday had prohibited all incoming flights from Europe, except the United Kingdom, till March 31.
The airport’s Director Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan also told Dhaka Tribune that the Foreign Ministry approved the Qatar Airways flight’s arrival and it would be the last flight coming here from Europe until further notice.
Dr Md Shahriar Sazzad, health officer at the airport, said that the plane departed from Italy and had a transit in Qatar.
All the latest returnees will be scanned at the airport first and then taken to Ashkona Hajj Camp for further medical check-ups, he added.
With this, a total of 512 Bangladeshis returned from Europe in the last three days till Monday. Of them, 485 came back from Italy alone.
Of the total returnees, 369 have been allowed to go home on the condition that they will remain in home quarantine.
Besides, another 48 expatriates who returned from Italy have been kept in quarantine at a hospital at Pubail in Gazipur, said Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
“For precautionary measures, we haven’t released anyone as some of them have high temperatures,” she said.
Meanwhile, IEDCR on Monday announced the detection of three new Covid-19 patients, including two children, and confirmed that the virus has started transmitting locally.
So far, the country has recorded eight coronavirus cases. Three of them, however, have recovered fully and returned home, according to IEDCR.
The Covid-19 death toll was over 6,600 globally as of Monday. It has so far infected more than 174,500 people in 162 countries and territories too, according to worldometer.