Dhaka – The government has brought back home 316 Bangladeshi nationals who were under lockdown in the Chinese city of Wuhan after the deadly outbreak of novel coronavirus in the East Asian country.
A chartered plane of Biman Bangladesh Airlines landed at Dhaka airport in the noontime carrying the evacuees back home. “We have transported a total of 316 passengers from Wuhan,” said Chief Executive Officer of the airlines Mokabbir Hossain.
Of them 12 children and three infants, he added.
Photograph posted on some media sites show all the passengers and crew members were in surgical masks.
Eight of the passengers were immediately taken to a hospital near the airport as they suffered from fever, said Shariar Sazzad, a health official at the airport. Bangladesh says none of its citizens was tasted coronavirus positive yet.
The evacuees will be taken to a two-week quarantine at Ashkona Haji Camp, the place usually used as transit point for Muslim pilgrims who travel to Mecca during the annual haj congregation.
Relatives of the returnees were suggested not to contact them during the period of their isolation.
The quarantine facilities will be supervised by the personnel from Bangladesh Army, health minister Zahid Maleque said adding that the government would provide all necessary supports for the passengers.
The government had earlier said that it planned to bring back 361 Bangladeshi nationals from Wuhan by a special flight, which left Dhaka for Wuhan on Friday evening, and returned home on Saturday
It was not cleared immediately why the other Bangladeshis, who registered their name to come back home, could not return by the special flight.
The plane left Wuhan on Saturday morning after the Chinese health and civil aviation officials gave clearance to leave.
Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen on Thursday told local media that 15 Bangladeshi nationals reported they want to stay back in the Wuhan city of Hubei province, where an estimated 500 Bangladeshi students were living, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
He said Bangladeshi nationals living in other parts of China were not registered for evacuation.
The coronavirus outbreak has reportedly killed at least 259 people. The World Health Organization announced a global health emergency as the China—origin virus spread other countries, including Japan, United States, Germany, France, India and Indonesia among others.