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Coronavirus: Screening begins at Shah Amanat Int’l Airport

  • Published at 07:01 pm January 21st, 2020
File photo of Shah Amanat International Airport, Chittagong Rabin Chowdhury/Dhaka Tribune

On Wednesday, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) issued an alert to all the entry points across the country

Aiming to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus, Shah Amanat International Airport began screening passengers on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Wing Commander ABM Sarwar-E-Zaman, manager of Shah Amanat International Airport said that Chittagong has no direct flights to and from China.

“Nonetheless, we are on high alert. We have already begun screening the passengers. If any passenger arrives Chittagong from China via transit, then the passenger will have to go through the screening,” said the airport manager.

Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi, civil surgeon of Chittagong told the Dhaka Tribune that they were on high alert to check the outbreak of the viral disease.

“Chittagong does not have any direct flight with China. Till now, none has been found attacked with the disease. The medical officers at Shah Amanat International Airport have been given necessary directives in this regard. If any passenger is found with the symptoms, we will notify the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR),” said the civil surgeon. 

On Wednesday, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) issued an alert to all the entry points across the country.

Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and Osmani International Airport in Sylhet also started screening passengers.

The alert was issued due to a Chinese 2019-nCoV (a new strain of corona) virus that causes pneumonia and other respiratory problems. 

On Tuesday, China's National Health Commission announced that it had received 291 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, with 77 new cases reported on January 20, according to CNN. At least six patients have died, so far.

Chinese health authorities, that earlier denied claims, have now said there is "definitely human-to-human transmission."

Coronavirus, a Sars-like (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus, broke out at a meat market in Wuhan, a central Chinese city, which announced a series of new measures Tuesday, including the cancellation of upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, that is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.

Beyond China, the virus has so far spread to Thailand, Japan and South Korea, reports CNN.