Alexa PM orders steps to return stranded Bangladeshis from China

Dhaka, Saturday   29 February 2020


PM orders steps to return stranded Bangladeshis from China

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 09:53 PM, 27 January 2020   Updated: 10:37 AM, 28 January 2020

Photo: BSS

Photo: BSS

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the foreign ministry to initiate steps to bring back the “willing to return” Bangladeshis who are now stranded in China due to outbreak of deadly coronavirus, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said today.

“We’ve started discussions with the Chinese government in this regard” in line with the premier’s directives, Alam said in a Facebook post.

He added that the foreign office planned to discuss the issue with Chinese authorities in coronavirus-prone regions to find out ways for their return as they enforced travel lockdowns, barring entry and exits of people.

Alam said the foreign office would issue a primary directive by today to prepare a list of citizens who are willing to return.

“Our main purpose is the safety of our citizens,” the state minister said.

Bangladesh Embassy in Beijing already opened a 24-hour hotline to reach out expatriate Bangladeshis if they need any emergency support due to the virus.

The hotline number is +86 178-0111-6005 and it has been circulated to Bangladeshi expatriates, especially students and researchers residing across China.

Alam said an estimated 300 to 400 Bangladeshi students were now in Wuhan, the virus epicenter.

Bangladesh embassy in Beijing earlier said they were in touch with the students in Wuhan.

The toll from China’s viral epidemic spiked on Monday to 80 dead with hundreds of new infections despite unprecedented quarantines and travel lockdowns, as foreign governments scrambled to help their trapped citizens.