Bangladesh has recently extended its coronavirus or Covid-19 outbreak alert to deep sea of Bay of Bengal where huge number of ships from China has been arriving. The Chattogram Sea Port and Chattogram Shah Amanat International Airport authorities have intensified surveillance so that no infected patient can enter into the country.
A significant part of the country's import trade is with China through the sea route. Due to this, special steps have been taken on the Covid-19 alert at Chattogram Seaport and the international airport. The health of every sailors of ship's from China to Chattogram port is being scanned as soon as they enter into Bangladesh territory anchoring in the outer anchorage. Moreover, currently the sailors on those ships are not issued 'on-arrival' visas as part of this high alert measure. They are, however, put on special surveillance while ship in the ships in the outer anchorage.
The government has taken a decision that sailors from China of ships of Chinese origin are not allowed to travel inside the country. They should stay in the ships. Two of the seven special medical teams, deployed in Chattogram Port on the Covid-19 alert, have been put on high alert to scan and check health of all sailors anchored in the deep sea. In addition, all the sailors are being tested at the port's immigration, where two more medical teams are deployed. Dr Motahar Hossain, Chattogram Port Health Officer said, “Doctors of the medical team sails on speed boat or country boat in deep sea almost every day to check the health of the sailors.”
“Since Thursday, the health of around one thousand sailors, of foreign vessels, has been examined, nothing suspicious was found in their body,” he added. According to the Chattogram Port sources, ships are coming from China almost regularly. If not every day, but every alternative day ships arrive in Bangladesh seaport. In the last one week, 5/6 such ships have arrived at the port.
Since last February 7, Chattogram Port Authority has been following the instruction of The World Health Organization, WHO that has issued a Corona guideline. “This is a very hard job for our doctors to examine the sailors in deep sea, especially when it is very rough. Port officials said.”
Md Abdul Warish, Deputy Commissioner of Chattogram Metropolitan Police Special Branch said, “All the sailors who were coming from China to Bangladesh have been instructed to stay in their respective ships, they are not allowed to come out.” Meanwhile, a meeting of the port officials with shipping agents at Port house on Thursday ordered special vigilance on the unloading of goods imported from China. The authority asked to unload the goods after 15 days of leaving the Chinese port. The meeting also proposed to unload ships at least 21 days after the ship’s departure from China.
“The health of all passengers of international flights arriving at Chattogram has been checked,” said Wing Commander ABM Sarwar-E- Jahan, manager Shah Amanat International Airport. Special beds have been laid in several hospitals including at Chattogram Medical College Hospital and ten beds at Faujdar Hat Infectious Disease Hospital for any suspected patients suffering from Covid-19.