Saturday, March 21st, 2020

COVID-19 testing kits, protective gears coming from China soon:FM

Published 4:00 pm | March 21, 2020

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Online Desk : Foreign minister Dr A K Abdul Momen today said China will send 10,000 testing kits and 10,000 protective equipments here soon through a charter flight to help Bangladesh combat deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

“China has already made the kits and protective equipments ready for us … they (China) will send here those soon through a charter flight,” he told newsmen at a press briefing at State Guest House Padma in the capital.

The foreign minister said Bangladesh government requested China to provide different medical supplies amid concern of inadequate testing kits and protective materials to combat the killer virus. He urged all the expatriate Bangladeshis not to return home right now and take assistance from the Bangladesh missions in their respective residing countries, if required.

“I urged all expatriates to defer their scheduled visit to Bangladesh at least till March 31,” he said.

Momen said the foreign ministry also directed all heads of Bangladesh missions abroad to discourse the expatriates from visiting Bangladesh in this virus pandemic situation. The foreign minister said the government has already requested different countries to assist Bangladeshis there and “they assured us, if required they will extend visa of Bangladeshis.”

Momen reiterated the government’s firm decision that everyone must be in either official or home quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has imposed a ban on entry of commercial flights from 10 overseas countries commencing at today’s midnight to March 31 midnight to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) issued a NOTAM (Notice to Airman) in this regard this morning.

“In order to prevent the spread of covid-19 (novel corona virus 2019) disease in Bangladesh, all scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft departing from Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore and India will not be allowed to land at any international airport of Bangladesh,” the NOTAM read.

Earlier, these 10 countries restricted the entry of Bangladeshis to their territories over the coronavirus fear.

Apart from these 10 countries, flight operations from the UK, Bangkok, China and Hong Kong will remain open, official sources said.

Bangladesh also imposed an embargo on entry of all inbound travellers from Europe except the UK, till March 31.

As questioned why the UK flights still remain open, the foreign minister said, “We can’t close the entire world, we need to bring our nationals, if someone is in dire emergency.”

Besides, Momen said some routes also have to remain open for diplomats of other countries stationed here.

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