As part of preventive measures against spread of omicron variant of coronavirus in Bangladesh, the government has requested the expatriates not to return to the country now.
"We are specially requesting those, who are staying in African countries, to stay in their own workplace. If 20,000 people return home together, we will not be able to arrange quarantine for all," Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said.
“The government has given new instructions to the expatriates planning to return to the country. We have issued instructions at the country’s entry ports, including airports and land ports, to prevent omicron," the minister said.
The current 72-hour time limit of Covid-19 testing for inbound passengers has been reduced to 48 hours, he said.
A 14-day quarantine has been made compulsory for the passengers coming from African region. The passengers also have to show Covid-19 certificate that their test has been conducted 48 hours before boarding their flights, he also said.
Meanwhile, in a health bulletin, DGHS spokesperson Dr Nazmul Islam on Wednesday said authorities have been struggling to track many of the South Africa returnees.
"We are identifying, contacting, and examining the returnees from South Africa, with the cooperation of civil surgeons, deputy commissioners, and various law enforcement agencies," he said.
He also requested the expatriates not to plan to come to Bangladesh for the time being.
The country’s coronavirus situation remains ‘stable’ in the country as the number of daily coronavirus infection cases remains below 300 for 33 consecutive days while the number of daily deaths remains below 10 for 45 days in a row.
According to Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), two Covid-19 patients died and 282 infection cases were recorded in the last 24 hours till Wednesday morning. The daily corona infection rate has remained below 2 percent for the last several weeks. Some 1.50 percent infection rate was reported on Wednesday. It was 1.38 percent on Tuesday.
For the 58 consecutive days, the country reported daily positivity rate below 3 percent. The infection rate was below 4 percent for 67 days in a row and below 5 percent for the last 74 consecutive days. The number of daily cases was reported below 500 for the last 49 days in a row, below 400 for 43 consecutive days and below 300 for 33 days in a row.
The number of total infections has risen to 15,76,566 with the overall positivity rate 14.45 percent. Some 18,851 samples were tested in the last 24 hours to detect the infection cases.
The national death toll has increased to 27,983 with a case fatality rate of 1.77 percent. The number of death remains below 10 for the last 45 consecutive days.
At the same time, the recovery rate continued to improve in the country reaching 97.76 percent with the recuperation of a good number of Covid-19 patients every day. Some 383 more Covid-19 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours till Wednesday morning, raising the total number of recoveries to 15,41,348.
The country's maiden cases were reported on 8 March last year and the first death from the virus was reported on 18 March.