The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) announced on Thursday, May 28, that it will partially resume domestic flight operations from Monday, June 1, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Flights will be limited to Dhaka (DAC), Chittagong (CGP), Sylhet (ZYL), and Syedpur (SPD), and these airports have reportedly installed thermal scanners and will adopt other safety measures for health checks of passengers.
The suspension on international passenger flights will remain in effect until Monday, June 15, though this is dependent on travel bans imposed in other countries and could change. According to reports, flights from the following countries come under the suspension: Bahrain, Bhutan, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Special flights, air ambulances, emergency landing flights, and cargo flights remain exempt from the restrictions.
As of May 28, authorities have confirmed 40,321 cases of COVID-19 in Bangladesh, including 559 fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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