Published:  10:45 AM, 23 March 2020

Coronavirus: 6.5% overseas returnees quarantined in Sylhet division

Coronavirus: 6.5% overseas returnees quarantined in Sylhet division

Although 26,843 people have recently returned home from abroad in four districts of the division, only 1,747 of them are currently undergoing home quarantine.
 
The scenario has exposed the entire division to the risk of a possible coronavirus outbreak as specialists repeatedly described the overseas returnees as prime carriers of the virus into Bangladesh.
 
They, particularly those who returned from European countries and China, were asked to isolate themselves to contain the spread of Coronavirus inside the country.
 
Since there's no vaccine, physicians said awareness is the key to protect human beings from the virus.
 
But most of the returnees paid no heed to the authority’s instruction of staying in home quarantine. Mobile courts fined some of them for breaching quarantine rules.
 
According to the divisional health office, 318 people were sent into quarantine in the division on Sunday, taking the number of total quarantined people to 1,747.
 
Of them, 718 are in quarantine in Sylhet, 208 in Sunamganj, 331 in Habiganj and 383 in Moulvibazar.
 
The number of quarantined people is only 6.5 percent of the total overseas returnees. Locals fear that the virus may spread as a huge number of returnees are freely moving around.
 
Local administration, however, assured that they are taking strict measure so that overseas returnees complete quarantine period.
 
Maulana Abul Hossain, a Union Parishad Chairman of Sylhet’s Kanaighat upazila, said the upazila administration sought a list of overseas returnees in the area. Besides, awareness announcements were being raised through made mosques and overseas returnees were asked not to go to mosque within 14 days.
 
Meanwhile, a person with symptoms of Covid-19 was taken to the isolation unit of Sylhet Sahid Shamsuddin Ahmed Hospital on early Sunday. Currently, four patients are being treated at the unit.
 
Anisur Rahman, assistant director at Sylhet divisional health office, said a total of 1,747 people were quarantined at their homes in the division since March 10. Of them, 67 people were released on Sunday on completion of quarantine term.

One of the key recommendations to contain the spread of the virus is social distancing but places of worship remain open and people continue to leave  physical contacts, increasing risks of a serious coronavirus outbreak in the densely populated country.



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