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3 February, 2020 01:30:04 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 February, 2020 03:16:35 PM

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On-arrival visa for Chinese nationals suspended

Move to check spread of CoronaVirus
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka
On-arrival visa for Chinese nationals suspended

The government has taken various steps to combat the coronavirus as the departments concerned of Chattogram, Mongla, Payra seaports, Benapole land port and airports have been asked to be extra-cautious in view of the prevailing situation. Bangladesh is at a high risk of spreading the coronavirus at any time, as 5,546 Chinese and Bangladeshi nationals have entered the country through several airlines from January 21 to February 2. The government has suspended on-arrival visa for Chinese nationals for a month as part of its temporary policy following the coronavirus outbreak.

On the other hand, the shipping ministry has directed all sea and land port authorities to take special measures. The authorities concerned, however, have already taken two-tier prevention measures to combat the lethal infectious disease. Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen yesterday said they had already suspended the on-arrival visa for Chinese nationals for one month for the time being. The government has advised the Chinese nationals living in Bangladesh to avoid visiting China for one month, he added.

“We’ve decided to stop giving on-arrival visa for Chinese nationals for one month from last night. Regular visa will be issued, but applicants will have to produce medical certificates indicating that they have no health-related problems,” the Foreign Minister told reporters at a briefing in the foreign ministry.

Abdul Momen said: “We’ve conveyed the decision to Chinese ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming last night.”

The foreign minister said the Chinese nationals who live in Bangladesh visit China frequently and advised them to avoid going to China for a month.

“This will be a temporary situation,” he said, adding that this was one way they were trying to control the traffic.

 Asked whether trade and commerce ties with China will be affected, the Foreign Minister said: “I don’t think as the decision has been taken temporarily.”

 Despite a 14-day restriction by the Chinese authorities, Bangladesh could bring back its nationals from China before other countries, which shows “strong friendship” with Bangladesh, he said.

 “We’ve taken two-tier prevention measures in all seaports and Benapole land port. We’ve arranged for thermal and quarantine tests. To prevent the coronavirus from entering Bangladesh through sea vessels, it is mandatory for the ships’ captain and agent to make a proper declaration on the ships’ arrival,” state minister for shipping Khaled Mahmud Chowdhury told this correspondent.

 “Master of the ship must inform as soon as the vessel reaches the port limit areas so that necessary arrangement can be taken,” he said.

 The ships from East Asian country will get final approval to enter the port only after they are issued health certificate by port health officer following screening that the ship and sailors are safe, the state minister said.

 “We’ve kept ready ‘ambulance ship’ to transport patient to hospital immediately from the ships. A medical team led by port health officer will work round-the-clock at port’s immigration desk,” he said.

 The Chinese nationals, who are working in Chattogram, Mongla and Payra ports, will not be allowed ‘leave’ and visit their country at this moment and those already on leave in their country have been advised not to travel to Bangladesh now.

 The ministry has also advised using mask and other pre-cautionary measures to combat coronavirus.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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