The deadly Covid-19 or Coronavirus, as it is now widely known, in the past one and a half months since China revealed to the WHO about the outbreak in Hubei province, has affected thousands and killed hundreds, mostly in Wuhan of the Hubei province.
In today’s closely connected world, diseases spread faster than wildfire to all corners of the world. We saw how fast SARS spread in 2003 and the ensuing world panic that accompanied. In the case of Covid-19, China responded fast and so did the rest of the world. This time China quarantined Wuhan, the ground zero of the outbreak, which slowed down the spread of Covid-19. It has affected far less people worldwide than it otherwise might have.So far we know, no Bangladeshis have been affected by the Covid-19, although there are thousands of Bangladeshi students studying in China. On February 1, Bangladesh brought back 312 students from Wuhan and many returned on their own, the epicentre of Covid-19 outbreak in China. The rest of the Bangladeshi students now studying at three universities in Hubei province got registered to return home too. We respect the advice of the Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming to the Bangladesh government not to bring back the 171 students studying at different universities in Hubei province, stating that it posed the risk of spreading the disease in Bangladesh.
Though Ambassador Li Jiming confirmed that no Bangladeshis in China and no Chinese in Bangladesh are infected with the deadly virus, but technical issues obstruct the return of remaining registered Bangladeshis from Hubei province as all of them must be quarantined for 14 days to stop any spread of the virus in Bangladesh. He has expressed his opinion from concern for our country terming the disease “enemy of the world, enemy of mankind.”
The relationship between our two countries have been close since Fa Xian, a scholar from ancient China, visited our land in 399-412 AD. Our economic ties surpass all previous records as Chinese imports form the maximum raw materials of our highest export earning garments industries. The number of newly infected cases and deaths appear to be going down. We hope that Covid-19 will be totally eradicated by the concerted efforts of the world community.