DHAKA: Bangladesh airports have been put on alert as a mysterious respiratory virus (Coronavirus) that has killed at least four people and sickened more than 200 in China can be passed from person-to-person.
The move comes following the breakout of the new virus in China.
According to authorities of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, officers are put on alert to detect any infection on passengers coming from China. The airport has turned on its thermal scanner to scan passengers arriving from the country.
Passengers with body temperature above 100 degrees [Fahrenheit] will be examined at the airport. If necessary, they will be Kurmitola General Hospital.
Besides, passengers who have travelled to China in the last 14 days and have flu-like symptoms will be screened at the airport, airport authorities said Tuesday (Jan 21).
Group Captain AHM Touhid ul Ahsan, director of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, told Banglanews that several decisions, including screening the passengers, have been made to prevent a possible spread of the virus.
If symptoms are found in passengers, then the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) would be notified. The IECDR would then test the passengers further, he added.
The symptoms the airport authorities would look for are fever, cough, cold, breathing difficulties and sore throat.
According to BBC report, Four persons in China were died from the new virus that has spread rapidly across the country, as authorities confirmed that it can be passed from person-to-person.
More than 200 cases have now been reported across major cities in China including Beijing and Shanghai.
China's National Health Commission on Monday confirmed that two cases of infection in China's Guangdong province were due to human-to-human transmission.
In a separate statement, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said at least 15 medical workers in Wuhan have also been infected with the virus, with one in a critical condition.
All of them are being kept in isolation while being treated.
Where has the virus spread?
The disease was first identified in Wuhan, a central Chinese city of 11 million people, late last year.
There are currently 218 confirmed cases of the virus in China, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
A handful of cases have also been identified abroad: two in Thailand, one in Japan, and another in South Korea.
Those infected had recently returned from Wuhan.
Airports in Singapore, Hong Kong and the Japanese capital Tokyo have been screening air passengers from Wuhan.
US authorities last week announced similar measures at airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.
Australian authorities have also announced that they will begin screening passengers coming from Wuhan to Sydney.
China is the largest source of tourists to Australia, with more than 1 million people arriving last year.
BDST: 1220 HRS, JAN 21, 2020