US embassy remains open for business, not asking citizens to leave Bangladesh

The US Embassy remains open for business and is not asking any citizens to leave Bangladesh amid coronavirus spread.

 “It’s not just happening in Bangladesh. This is not unique for Bangladesh,” a spokesperson of the embassy told journalists on Sunday.

 The question came as the embassy on its website said they have arranged a ‘special chartered flight’ for US citizens and their families in Bangladesh.

 The flight will be departed the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Monday, March 30.

 This flight will include a Dhaka to Doha, Qatar leg and an onward connecting flight to Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C.   Passengers will remain on the airplane in Doha, read the statement.

 When asked why are they taking them back since US is the current epicenter of the virus and Bangladesh still remains a low prevalent country, the spokesperson said it’s the individual decision of their citizens.

 “We are not asking them to leave. They are taking their own decision. The embassy’s top priority is to ensure safety and security of the US citizens,” the spokesperson said, adding that individual can take the decision based on their personal choices.

 The spokesperson said the State Department has arranged such return mechanism from many countries where the citizens wanted to return.

 This is a temporary measure and the US citizens will be returning to Bangladesh again once the situation improves globally, the spokesperson said.

 “But we, the embassy, are open for day to day businesses here”.

 In the website, the embassy told their citizens that they have to reimburse the US government for the flight by signing a promissory note for approximately the amount of a full-fare economy flight, or comparable alternate transportation, to the designated destination.

 “This form must be signed and presented before boarding. No cash or credit card payments will be accepted at the airport,” according to the statement.

 The exact departure time and routing of this chartered flight are subject to change.