Will import 10,000 testing kits, protective gear from China soon: Foreign minister
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said the government will soon import 10,000 testing kits and 10,000 protective equipment from China to fight the spread of coronavirus.
"The kits and equipment are ready. Those will be brought in by a chartered flight soon," he said, while briefing reporters at State Guest House Padma in Dhaka.
Some private companies are working to import such kits and equipment as well, he added.
The foreign minister also urged Bangladesh expatriates living abroad to delay their return to Bangladesh and maintain the rules and regulations imposed by the countries concerned.
"In case the visa of any expatriate expires, we have spoken to the foreign missions in our country and they will extend their visa validity dates. There is no reason to worry," he said.
He asked all to make sure that the Bangladeshi expatriates who have returned from abroad are under quarantine either at home or hospital.
He said anyone finding returnees not being quarantined should notify local administration.
"We are putting a stamp with unerasable ink on the returnees so that they can be traced. I also request the relatives to kindly ensure quarantine of those who came from abroad," the minister added.
China has been successful in enforcing such rules, he said.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh government has cancelled the leave of all government officials involved in essential services, including the health and foreign ministry, police and field level administration, as a means to fight Covid-19.
The minister said, "Only 20 people have been infected in our country at the moment. If we have the right protective measures, I think it will not spread in Bangladesh."
The minister said the government has taken a decision to ban flight operations with 10 countries, starting today until March 31.
The countries are: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore and India.
Flight operations with UK, China, Hong Kong and Thailand will remain active, he added.
"We cannot lock down the whole country. That is why we are keeping flight operations with some countries open," added the minister.
"The government and peoples' joint initiative is imperative to face coronavirus."